Darkseed
Poison Awaits


2.5
average

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
July 29th, 2010 | 33 replies | 10,480 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: When you find your nuts you hold on to the damn things.

Darkseed are one of those bands that just won’t go away. Somehow they’ve managed to survive eighteen years while continuously churning out the same generic gothic rock album. If anyone has ever made a joke about the gothic rock genre, Darkseed have probably taken it and included it in their music as a serious addition to their sound. They’ve toyed with female backing vocals, electronics, deep vocals, death growls, pseudo-depressing lyrics and mainstream H.I.M.-style hooks, but nothing has ever really worked for them.

As they say, though, every squirrel eventually finds his nuts, and Darkseed have found theirs on occasion. It almost seemed as though the band were onto something with Diving into Darkness and Ultimate Darkness when they married a strong electro-industrial foundation with catchy power chords and multi-faceted vocals pushed through a goth aesthetic, but they dumped the entire formula. In keeping with the squirrel metaphor, Darkseed’s actions would be like if the squirrel found his nuts and quickly ignored them in favor of playing with the cat – Poison Awaits is the remains of one very stupid squirrel.

A lot of Darkseed’s best moments have been due to their many different vocal styles working in tandem to create interesting contrasts, but that barely even comes into play here. Instead, they’ve opted to virtually eliminate the death growls in order to stick almost exclusively with the clean vocals while relegating the grittier metal vocals to a support role. The band even manages to get away with it for a few songs, but the album eventually becomes painfully redundant. This feeling of redundancy is amplified by the band’s decision to remove the electronics and throttle back on the heavy riffs in favor of a very upbeat and mainstream (i.e. neutered) approach that centers around a race to get to the choruses as quick as possible. If there is one positive to that approach, it is that the choruses are pretty strong and definitely memorable. Unfortunately, unless you’re shooting for pop stardom, catchy choruses just aren’t enough.

All of which brings us back to the fundamental question – if our metaphorical squirrel has turned out to be much more similar to a lemming, how is he still here? Of course, there has to be an explanation for the band’s cockroach-like ability to persevere but you’re not going to find the answer on Poison Awaits. Everything on this album points to a band with absolutely no interest in doing anything but goth-by-the-numbers. The songs are built around strong choruses, but every other aspect is accomplished in such a safe and predictable manner that it doesn’t really matter. Darkseed have shown signs of breaking out of their rut in the past, but Poison Remains seems to show that they’re really quite happy living in their hole while defying logic with their longevity.



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user ratings (9)
Chart.
2.2
poor

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
July 29th 2010


15965 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I haven't reviewed in over a month because I haven't really felt up to it so this may be a bit rusty. I'm still open to suggestions and critiques.

Digging: Necropoli - I

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
July 29th 2010


31153 Comments


A lot of animal references

Digging: Banks - Goddess

Willie
Moderator
July 29th 2010


15965 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah. I don't know how that happened, but I rolled with it.

Counterfeit
July 29th 2010


17819 Comments


decent review, pos.









oh w8

bloc
July 29th 2010


34848 Comments


Gothic rock? Surely this will be a fine buildup to Pins and Needles.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

Willie
Moderator
July 29th 2010


15965 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

No. If you want a good buildup to the new Birthday Massacre CD listen to Omega Lithium - Dreams In Formaline.

Counterfeit
July 29th 2010


17819 Comments


Also, the only thing I would change is from gothic rock to goth rock, idk if it changes the meaning at all, but it flows better imo.

BallsToTheWall
July 29th 2010


44300 Comments


Good review shitty band. Animal Farm whoooo. And if anyone want something gothic before TBM just listen to Zola Jesus.

Digging: Tiamat - Clouds

bloc
July 29th 2010


34848 Comments


Oh shit, Omega Lithium sounds really good from their Myspace.

Willie
Moderator
July 29th 2010


15965 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

They are really good. I always meant to review them, but never got to it.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 29th 2010


20857 Comments


What Trey meant to say was:

I haven't reviewed in over a month because I have been hooked on the Discovery Channel... From now on, every review will contain an animal reference... Either that, or a reference to nuts.

Astraea
July 29th 2010


13 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This band has never really clicked with me. Never been above average.

Willie
Moderator
July 29th 2010


15965 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

What Trey meant to say was:

I haven't reviewed in over a month because I have been hooked on the Discovery Channel... From now on, every review will contain an animal reference... Either that, or a reference to nuts.
I do like the Discovery Channel, but I haven't been watching it any more than usual ;) Usually I pick a direction and then do a few re-writes over a few days, but I was so unmotivated that I pushed myself to just jump in and see where it took me, and finish all in one sitting too. Apparently that leads to animal reviews.

This band has never really clicked with me. Never been above average.
The two albums I mentioned are worth hearing, if only to slightly raise your opinion of the band. They're better than newer Tiamat.

krig9412
July 30th 2010


794 Comments


Poison Awaits is the remains of one very stupid squirrel.

^made my day right there. Pos just for that

D: Where are teh pause button?!

Willie
Moderator
July 30th 2010


15965 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Staff don't have the voting option because we'd probably be troll negged to insanity. ;)

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
July 30th 2010


8357 Comments


Good review man and all this Discovery channel 'n animal talk bring back some of the most colorful Discovery channel memories I have: two rhinos bangin' hard in front of a water pit, while the whole damn savannah is on fire on the background. And those dumb animals didn't even care if they're gonna die or not, they just wanted to bang. And so they did.

Is that weird that I still remember that crysal clearly, even though I saw it like 5 years ago? Ahh, memories for life.

Oh as for the band: I'm sure they suck (just took a glance at their page here and had a good laugh after seeing the album titles)

Willie
Moderator
July 30th 2010


15965 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It is weird. I think that image might have scarred your psyche or something.

As for the band, they've had their moments but are mostly bad.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
July 30th 2010


8357 Comments


It is weird.
Damn, and here I was, hoping that my friends were just constantly lying to me.

Also, based on what I gathered from your review, this sounds like HIM with more balls and more goth, but still boring as fuck. So yeah, pass

Bitchfork
July 31st 2010


7584 Comments


just listen to Zola Jesus.


ReturnToRock
July 31st 2010


3448 Comments


So are these guys the typical "depressed and uber-deep male vocals backed by snaking guitar leads and chugging rhythm" type of goth band? Or are they the typical "wannabe operatic diva trading verses with growler backed by sissy piano" type of goth band?

Like the former, don't like the latter.



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