Darkspace
Dark Space III I


4.5
superb

Review

by ComeToDaddy USER (48 Reviews)
September 9th, 2014 | 411 replies


Release Date: 09/06/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A prime example of pushing the envelope without sacrificing integrity

The stylistic differences from one end of the black metal spectrum to the other will never cease to surprise; from the raw cacophony of sound Burzum is capable of creating, right through to the spacey ambience of Kataxu, and even images of the Scottish hillside evoked by Saor earlier in 2014. The sheer breadth and variety to be found in the genre is something that could never be expected from its humble beginnings, and yet there are still artists who whittle away at their own niche, whose sound cannot be replicated. Darkspace are one of these bands. While early albums undoubtedly shared similarities to Paysage d’Hiver (solo project of Wintherr), they have slowly moved away from that derivative sound and forged their own sound, culminating in their 2008 opus Darkspace III. 6 years later, we come to Darkspace III I, and while following up an opus will always be a difficult task, they have continued to push the envelope further and outdone themselves once again.

For every step forward taken between II and III, Darkspace III I takes another step forward here. The production has improved, with individual instruments being more discernible without damaging the dense mix that holds together the atmosphere. The musical palette has widened even further; unexpectedly upbeat bass opens the album before the cold layers of keyboard and guitar bury it, flighty electronics weave through the background 15 minutes into ‘4.19’. There is a reduced emphasis on shrieks in exchange for a greater concentration of growled vocals, and the riffs that lent variety to III make their return here, featuring more prominently and often driving the album forward. The album still feels like a cold descent into a black hole, but there is far more diversity here. While this weakens the atmosphere from the crushing bleakness found in III, it makes this a far easier listen, a more accessible entry point to the band’s sound and shows the band staving off any signs of stagnation. While this can be an especially difficult task in atmospheric music, here is a stellar example of how to shake things up without alienating fans.

The heavier presence of riffs is complemented by the more abrupt arrival of ambient passages. Several of these passages also contain heavy breathing samples (11min into ‘4.18’ or the close of ‘4.20’, which even features discernible words quoted at the end of the review), and this induces a greater feeling of panic, doubling up on the claustrophobic atmosphere of previous albums to make up for the minor hit it took when adding more variety. This conscious inclusion is a clear indication that Darkspace are maturing as artists, and while this is conceivably the limit to which their style can take them, only time will tell what they are yet capable of producing.

By pushing their own boundaries, Darkspace have ensured they don’t lose relevancy in the black metal scene. The unique niche they have carved for themselves is still unquestionably theirs, and all the more important as increasingly diverse artists come to the forefront. In a year overflowing with standout black metal releases, Darkspace III I stands at the top of the pile as one of the most impressive albums of the year and another brilliant chapter in the bands history.

“I found the hatch. I got the airlock status display panel here.

There’s no lights... No power...

We’re going in...”

Silence




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user ratings (180)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
ComeToDaddy
September 9th 2014


1635 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Lets get this hype train rolling! Absolutely brilliant album, everyone who enjoys black metal should hear it



On the review, a couple of run-on sentences I wasn't happy with but wasn't sure what to do about them. Any constructive criticism is welcomed and appreciated

Gestapo
September 9th 2014


1313 Comments


i approve

dimsim3478
September 9th 2014


7781 Comments


YES IT IS HERE

laughingman22
September 9th 2014


2780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

so its good, sweeeeet

ComeToDaddy
September 9th 2014


1635 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

If you enjoyed the other albums, there's no way you'd dislike this. People may feel differently about the variety than I did, but it's still the same Darkspace

ComeToDaddy
September 9th 2014


1635 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

get amongst it guys

Veldin
September 9th 2014


3065 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So is it Part 3-1? or 4? or...

ComeToDaddy
September 9th 2014


1635 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album is called 3-1, but it is a standalone 4th album. Songs are even called 4.18, 4.19 and 4.20 so no idea why they named it 3-1

osmark86
September 9th 2014


5653 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! gotta give this one a go.

PortalofPerfection
September 9th 2014


1991 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice review. This thing is ungodly. They honestly did the exact right thing, took their sound precisely where it needed to go. We already knew they could crush us with a wall of sound, they perfected it on III. So they backed off, let the synth take over, gave you some "breathing room", only the air is toxic, snuffing out your life without you even realizing.



By easing up on their familiar atmosphere they created a whole different one. Throw some bone crushing riffs in and...I might 5 this.

Amphoteric
September 9th 2014


2014 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I enjoyed it, could definitely see it growing more.

osmark86
September 9th 2014


5653 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

so this is basically what Celestite was to Celestial Lineage?

Amphoteric
September 9th 2014


2014 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not really, this is still pretty much all black metal, while celestite abandoned black metal completely.

osmark86
September 9th 2014


5653 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

fantastic!

PortalofPerfection
September 9th 2014


1991 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It caught me off guard at first how much space there is sometimes between the black metal parts.

Not like them. But that's exactly why I ended up loving this so much. They didn't try to retread

old ground they've already done about as good as they could possibly do with.

Wolfhorde
September 9th 2014


15371 Comments


Hot damn, it's still 27~32°C degrees outside and the fall/winter albums keep piling up.

osmark86
September 9th 2014


5653 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

well you gotta prepare. winter is coming they say.

Crysis
Emeritus
September 9th 2014


17320 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah this slays

Archelirion
September 9th 2014


5508 Comments


Oh shit son, I'm gonna have to check this one out.

Fantastic review as always ComeToDaddy. Pos'd.

ComeToDaddy
September 9th 2014


1635 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So glad this came on the tail end of winter, it technically just clicked over to spring here in Australia but it stayed cold just long enough for this album to come out



Thanks a heap Aaron, appreciate it. Nice dig too, so many great bm albums this year



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