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When a band replaces a lead singer, issues with identity are bound to arise. Yet Swedish powerhouse metal squad Darkane, who are no strangers to singer shakeups having undergone multiple changes behind the microphone since their inception, appear to be a rare exception to the rule judging by the quintet's fifth installment of extreme metal excellence DEMONIC ART. This 12-track offering, which finds the band settling in with Jens Broman (The Defaced) at the helm, pushes this unit's brand of thrashing brutality with melodic inclinations further down the darkened metallic path forged on previous outings ("The Killing of I", "Demigod"). As for the vocals, expect the patented blend of harsh growls, maddening yells, and Eurodeath melodies that truly fits within the framework of the compositions to remain intact ("Leaving Existence"). Retaining both their progressively-minded and savage aspects ("Still In Progress", "Impetious Constant Chaos"), Darkane shows no signs of a lull period, as they've effortlessly picked up where they left off, cranking out another declarative round of crushing thrash metal technicality while radiating a murky brutality rivaled only by melodeath's top-flight acts.
- Mike SOS