Darkspace - _III_
(Avantgarde Music, 2008)
by: Kostas Sarampalis (9.5 out of 10)
With the minimalist ambient keyboard passages that Darkspace added in _II_, one obvious choice for the follow-up would have been to veer further down into the electronic side of their music and slowly forgo their chaotic black metal facet that made _II_ such a pleasure to listen to. Fortunately, they did not make that mistake; _III_ is one malevolent piece of work that out-shadows everything the band has done before.

Chock full of blistering guitar work and drumming, this sounds like the album Limbonic Art could have made had they not ventured into death metal territory after _In Abhorrence Dementia_. Continuing to give their songs numerical names, with all in the third album starting with number 3, take "3.13" as an example as to how much they have furthered their art. Chunkier guitars appear much more prominently and frequently, the keyboard passage that weaves in between the thinner guitars halfway through its twelve minutes is absolutely magnificent, and there is even prolonged solo-like riffing that wraps the song.

Vocals remain as alien and buried deep in the mix as in the previous two albums, but _III_ contains some rather interesting speech samples that creep into the music at such inopportune moments and are so well placed that take the listener by surprise.

This is a very long album, especially for the style of music. Although the idea of eighty minutes of almost unrelenting chaotic black metal sounds a bit much, _III_ is anything but boring. The sprawling keyboard intro of "3.14" that gradually expands with slow guitars and almost doomy drumming, the ambience of "3.15", the crushing heaviness of "3.16", all are just but glimpses in what seems like an album that needs exploration to discover it. There is (still) not much out there that is similar to what Darkspace are doing, even less so with such quality.

Those of us quick enough to grab the limited digipack edition of just 500 copies that disappeared in the first two days of pre-sale will have a much sought after CD in the near future, but the unlimited version follows the same cardboard sleeve on plastic CD box design of the re-release of _I_ and _II_. The layout and art design is again appropriately minimalist. If you followed my advice and found yourselves lost in Darkspace with _II_, this time _III_ will be your violent journey through a black hole. Destination unknown.

Contact: http://www.darkcyberspace.com/

(article published 2/7/2008)

11/15/2006 K Sarampalis Darkspace - I / II
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