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Dargor – Descent into Chaos

Dargor
Descent into Chaos
by Gary Hernandez at 31 July 2021, 7:40 PM

Here’s the thing about Melodic Black Metal: If done well, it always sounds fantastic. I mean, it’s called “melodic” for a reason—by definition it is built on harmony and melody. It just sounds right—it’s coherent, it locks into place, it thrives on internal consistency. DARGOR, a foursome from Krosno, Poland, is no exception. Originally formed as a one-man project by Michał Kustra, DARGOR’s first EP, “Hellfire,” was released in 2020. Soon afterwards the project added three additional full-time members and effectively transitioned into a band. The first order of business was to expand that debut EP by four more tracks to comprise a new EP, “Descent into Chaos,” which was released on May 6, 2021.

DARGOR takes its name from a lyric in “Dawn of Victory” by RHAPSODY OF FIRE and became Kustra’s nickname in the local metal bands he played in. As he ventured into his Black Metal project, it only seemed natural to carry the name forward. Kustra has said that the seven tracks on "Descent into Chaos" are “mostly about mental pain, the process of inner descent, and the dark sides of human nature. Despite the negative subjects, the message is positive. We can always choose between darkness and light.”

The juxtaposition of these two dichotomies is central to the album and it is central to Melodic Black Metal. In Melodic Black Metal you have a base (Black Metal), which is organically dark and aggressive, but then is offset with gradations of harmony (Melodic) that render the source into something new and distinct. Call it the alchemy of Melodic Metal, if you will. This essence, of course, is reflected sonically in "Descent into Chaos," but is also duplicated in the lyrics. Thematically the listeners experience a “descent into chaos,” but are also called up to “awaken” and rise above.

Overall, the album takes on two distinct movements. The first four tracks are more melodic and atmospheric; the latter three, taken from the first EP, are more aggressive and raw. Despite the difference, however, the songs are still linked by a strong, common symmetry as well as lyrical intent. Performances from all members are outstanding. This is a band that melds exceptionally well together, from the harsh but well enunciated vocals to the synchronous guitar work to the tight rhythm section. Adding to the core band, guest artists Jaromir Przewoźnik (classic guitar) and Dawid Warchoł (keyboards) provide additional layering which bolster the ambiance. Production standards are also solid.

Standout tracks are “Abysses,” for its haunting tremolo phrasing; “Awaken,” which encapsulates the overarching theme of the album; and “Hellfire” because it’s just crunchy, doomy, and heavy as fuck. I should also note that both covers are excellent as well, though I prefer the SAMAEL cover, “Crown,” which closes the album.

Like the fallen angel that graces the album cover, "Descent into Chaos" is as emotive as it heavy. The band has said they plan on being in the studio by autumn 2021, so we can look forward to something new before too long. In the meanwhile, we have "Descent into Chaos" which is indeed a hefty offering. Highly recommended, this one.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Abysses
2. Bloodthirst
3. Awaken
4. The Wolfpack (SATYRICON Cover)
5. Hellfire
6. Decay
7. Crown (SAMAEL Cover)
Lineup:
Michał Kustra – Lead guitar, vocals, keyboards
Damian Muszyński – Bass, vocals
Michał Socha – Rhythm guitar
Maciej Socha – Drums
Record Label: Kancho Records
     


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Edited 22 September 2021
 

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