new music: darkened spawn creates a black metal symphony on debut ep ‘daggers of the ghostly heathen’ #soundcheck

March 16, 2016

The Hard Times brilliantly satirized the quest for words to describe metal other than “brutal” last month, but for Darkened Spawn’s debut EP Daggers of the Ghostly Heathen, that’s not so much a problem. Though it uses the language of heavy music, drawing from black metal, symphonic metal, and industrial, it’s less about visceral impact than about mood. The EP is never brutal, though it’s often moody, introspective, haunting, and eerie. Over 4 tracks that loosely tie together a narrative about oppressive government and dystopian society, Wilson Sherels creates a tense atmosphere filled with symphonic flourishes and pummeling blast beats. Though the vocals are often so buried as to be more part of the texture than anything else, the mood sustained throughout of paranoia and tension is palpable and truly compelling.

By Nathan Leigh, AFROPUNK Contributor