Darkane Expanding Senses

Darkane's third album is only their second with vocalist Andreas Sydow, and first for Nuclear Blast. Expanding Senses explores the familiar ground of Swedish metal, approaching its boundaries without sacrificing integrity or tempting cries of "sell-out." The guitar work provides the album's stability - pounding rhythms, melodic leads and the briefest taste of classical. In contrast, the drums undergo a continual transformation that propels the music forward. The light touch of keyboards remains in the background, drifting in now and then to fill out some of the slower passages. The rhythmically changing drum patterns, along with Sydow's versatile vocals, push Darkane in different directions, challenging the limits of their chosen genre. Aggression dominates even Sydow's clean vocals, accompanied by yells, screams and growls. His excursions into melody are more effective for their only occasional use. Each of Expanding Senses' nine tracks is equally well crafted, producing an album with a strongly coherent structure. Loud, fast and heavy, Darkane is prototypically metal: not brilliant or stunning, but solid power. (Nuclear Blast)