Album Review: Darkness – Blood on Canvas

Album Review: Darkness – Blood on Canvas
Reviewed by Matthew Williams

At a time when my most of my music listening is taken over by stoner and progressive rock, with all their groovy and sun kissed vibes, it’s always great to get back to basics and where my heavy metal journey started back in 1988, with a bit of thrash!!!

Ironically, it’s with a band who themselves began their journey in the 80’s firstly as Destroyer, but then become more well know as Darkness, not to be confused with those cheeky rock chaps from Lowestoft by the way.

German thrashers Darkness are back with possibly their most aggressive and heaviest album to date, with nine songs created in one period as a multi-faceted sound painting emboldened with the colours of wrath. The compositions are more complex and detailed than usual, without losing any of the aggression, heaviness and authenticity.

The alarm buzzing away at the start of 'Wake Up In Rage' signals early intent and it’s a classic thrash anthem from the word go, heads banging, fists shaking, body moving, it sets a tempo for the rest of the songs to follow. And the heavy drum intro from Lacky fires up 'A Couple of Kills' next, with the aggression evident from the band.

Album Review: Darkness – Blood on Canvas

There are plenty of mad, crazy and chaotic solos throughout the album, just listen to 'Human Flesh' for the best example of this, but this is exactly what thrash metal is all about and why it’ll always be my favourite genre, as it is fast, ferocious and executed perfectly by Arnd on guitar.

The lyrics are no longer just a description of the madness that determines the course of this world, but get to the heart of the matter in a straightforward and uncompromising manner, 'Truth is a Whore' has the great line “dishonest to the core, an illusion that we adore” or the relatable “a handful of politicians crave for money, and we all pay the price” on the heavy as hell 'Defcon Four'.

Armed with a few newer recruits, original members Lacky and Arnd, have produced an album of high quality thrash metal that has stuck to their roots and delivered an uncompromising and relentless sound, that will resonate with thrashers across the world. Ending with title track 'Blood on Canvas' which has a few twists and turns, it rounds up the album perfectly with some killer riffs, intense drumming and powerful singing from vocalist Lee.

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