Darkspace - Darkspace III
Avantgarde Music
Black Metal
7 songs (79:14)
Release year: 2008
Avantgarde Music
Reviewed by James
Surprise of the month

Darkspace have come to most black metallers attention by being the “other” band of the sole mind behind Paysage D'Hiver, Wintherr, here working under the name Wroth. Whereas Paysage D'Hiver are seemingly permanently holed up in the Swiss Alps, Darkspace are prepared to embrace the outside world, having a Myspace and even (gasp!) playing live. The band are known for their fascination with deep space, going as far to include samples from various sci-fi films on their albums. As much as the band's use of alien-like corpsepaint feels somewhat silly, this record certainly captures a spacey vibe, though not in that psychedelic way that so-called “space rock” bands have. No, this is the real deep space, dark, empty, and really bloody cold.

I admittedly didn't care much for Darkspace's debut, so what has changed? Nothing, actually! The drum machine still hammers out a relentless blastbeat, the guitars still let loose a stream of blazing tremelo riffs, and the keys still add a symphonic edge to the proceedings. I'll have to assume that my affinity for this compared to their other works is simply down to better songwriting, no more, no less. The chugging riffs scattered intermittently throughout the album make a nice break from the blasting, and are played with an almost robot-like precision that makes the band sound like a relentless slaughtering machine. It's still incredibly long, mind, the band perhaps not realizing 70-plus minutes of minimalistic black metal is, to put it mildly, a bit much. But you don't have to listen to the whole thing in one sitting, of course, and those who want their CDs stuffed to the gills with music will certainly be pleased.

The vocals are utterly incomprehensible, often buried in the cosmic chaos. The band don't print their lyrics, but the themes seem fairly obvious coupled with the name and cover art. It's down to the occasional sci-fi samples to add a trace of humanity to the music. I'm not a film buff in the slightest so I have no idea where the samples come from, but I'm sure fans of sci-fi will have a blast attempting to spot the origins of the samples. The spoken word snippets come at you without warning, often taking the listener by surprise (I was genuinely convinced I was hearing things at one point). It has the rather nice effect of sounding like infrequent transmissions from Earth, being your only human contact, holed up in your spacecraft.

There's little variation among songs, save for the ambience of Dark 3.15, so this record must be listened to as a seamless whole. It's difficult, it's really difficult, but the band have atmosphere in spades, and for the entire 79-minute duration I feel as if I am floating in space, lost, alone and helpless. So strap yourself in and prepare for blast off. You're in for a terrifying yet strangely compelling voyage through the inky void of deep space.

Killing Songs :
Too close to call.
James quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Darkspace that we have reviewed:
Darkspace - Darkspace III I reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
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