For 15 years, Swedish quintet Darkane have combined melodic death and technical thrash to stirring effect, and as their new album “The Sinister Supremacy” proves, they’re just getting started. It marks not only the first Darkane album in five years, but also the return of vocalist Lawrence Mackrory, the man who delivered a memorable performance on the group’s 1999 debut, “Rusted Angel”.
undefinedDarkane was formed in January 1998 from the ashes of Agretator, a thrash metal band hailing from the Swedish costal city Helsingborg. Inspired by the aggression, speed, and technical finesse of At The Gates, guitarist Christofer Malmström, drummer Peter Wildoer and bass player Jörgen Löfberg joined forces with longtime friend and guitarist Klas Ideberg, formerly of thrash act Hyste’riah, to form a new band. After attracting the attention of local metal label War Music the band recorded “Convicted” and “July 1999” for the “Wardance” compilation with vocalist Björn “Speed” Strid filling in on vocals. Due to conflicting commitments with Soilwork, Speed’s duration in Darkane was short. Nevertheless, the friendship between Soilwork and Darkane would remain long lasting. Malmström and Wildoer kept busy and continued writing throughout 1998, eventually composing enough material for a full-length release.
undefinedHaving been huge fans of Daniel Bergstrand’s work with Meshuggah, Darkane decided to record their debut album at Dugout Studios in Uppsala in August 1998. However, Darkane remained without a vocalist and front man. The band asked Bergstrand for suggestions and immediately Lawrence Mackrory’s name came up. Mackrory had been working with Bergstrand as a studio assistant for some time and also was the frontman for Forcefeed and F.K.Ü. After briefly listening to Mackrory’s material, Darkane decided to let him record the vocals for what would be “Rusted Angel”.
In March 1999, Darkane was slated to do their first shows abroad with Naglfar and Soilwork. However, Mackrory had previous engagements to do gigs with Forcefeed. While searching for a replacement vocalist for the tour, Malmström came across Andreas Sydow, whom he had previously played with. Although Sydow was not a metal vocalist, after some persuasion, he agreed. The shows with Sydow went great and he was asked to join the band permanently, since Mackrory’s place in the band was only on a temporary basis and also “Rusted Angel” was finally released in April (Europe) and October (USA) of 1999. The band played The Netherland’s infamous Dynamo Open Air in front of 15.000 people and plenty more festivals. Darkane also toured Europe with Cannibal Corpse, Marduk, Defleshed and many more.
Upon returning from their Cannibal Corpse tour, Darkane immediately began work on “Insanity”, their follow-up to “Rusted Angel”. Soon after the release of their sophomore album via their newly chosen label partner Nuclear Blast Records in 2001, Darkane made their American live debut at the legendary Milwaukee Metalfest, where they performed alongside the likes of Opeth, Katatonia and Mastodon. Over the next few years, they released two more acclaimed albums, “Expanding Senses” (2002) and “Layers of Lies” (2005). They also toured internationally with such groups as Testament, Meshuggah and Death Angel in addition to periodic North American tours with Fear Factory, Devin Townsend’s Strapping Young Lad, Soilwork and Warbringer, among others.
In August 2007, vocalist Andreas Sydow decided to end his tenure with Darkane. After 3 studio albums and 8 years in the band he felt he had reached a standstill in the creative process. Undeterred by this blow, the band welcomed Jens Broman (Construcdead, The Defaced) into the fold and recorded their fifth album “Demonic Art”, which was released in November 2008 via Massacre Records in Europe and in early 2009 via Nuclear Blast Records in North America. After some more touring during the following 2 years and the release of their first DVD, “Layers Of Live” in 2010, the band decided to take a break to build their own recording studio.
In the spring of 2011, vocalist Jens Broman broke the bad news that he wasn’t able to fulfill his commitment to do the “Demonic Alliance Tour” in September. Not wanting to cancel the tour, the band called up Lawrence Mackrory to see if he would be interested in helping out. Indeed he was and he travelled from Uppsala down to Helsingborg for a weekend of rehearsals. As events would unfold, Darkane and Jens amicably decided to go separate ways and Lawrence was officially back in the band as their vocalist.
After completing said tour, Darkane continued the construction of the new studio while writing material for their 6th studio album and in June 2012 they were finally able to start with the actual recordings. With help from long-time friend and producer Daniel Bergstrand (In Flames, Meshuggah, Dimmu Borgir, Behemoth, etc.), they set up a massive drum sound worthy of showcasing Peter Wildoer’s eccentric drumming, which has also been heard on releases by acts like Arch Enemy, Old Man’s Child, Pestilence or also Dream Theater’s James LaBrie solos releases in the previous years, and during the coming months they laid down the rest of the tracks for the new album. Along with Daniel Bergstrand’s vibrant mix and artwork courtesy of former Soilwork member Carlos Holmberg, “The Sinister Supremacy” showcases a new, darker and heavier version of Darkane. Mutated with new DNA in the form of Mackrory, they once more expand the boundaries of extreme metal. Ever experimental yet staying true to their roots, the 2013 version of the band is a brand new beast, ready to be unleashed.