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Dark Millennium – Acid River

Dark Millennium
Acid River
by Gary Hernandez at 06 December 2021, 8:28 AM

Today is December 5, 2021, and I am reviewing my first 2022 album. Excited to usher in the dawn of a new metal year and excited to get to preview the new full-length from DARK MILLENIUM, “Acid River.” This German quintet has been around in one iteration or another since 1991. By the time their new release hits, that’ll be 31 years. “Acid River” will be their fifth album, the last having been issued four years ago in 2018. Glad to see these blokes back in the studio. And if you haven’t seen or heard it yet, the band also re-recorded their demo, “The Apocryphal Wisdom.” See vid link below.

It's hard to categorize DARK MILLENIUM. They have the deep talent and the musical deliberation of a Prog Metal band. They also have a dark introspective aesthetic, with overtones of Doom as well as Death. Surprisingly, “Acid River” has a heavy analog vibe. I say surprisingly, because it sounds so clear and cleanly mixed and mastered. Credit to Hilton Theissen (guitars) and Wide Noise studio. In their promo material, the band notes they “took the old analog road, using their original equipment from guitars, amps, drums to an analog mixing desk and tape, having the old sound spirit in mind that carried their tunes.”

Thematically, the album is not a “concept album in the traditional sense but has a common thread (the acid river) which leads through the album and its songs. The main theme is the breaking in from an occult world in our reality, which is being described by different stories.” “The Verger” for instance gives us a sinister and soul-swallowing perspective of the ecclesiastic; “Godforgotten” offers a curious take on the realm of the nightmare, with it becoming a place of shelter from the denizens of the night; and on and on. With each track we pick up a familiar theme but with a twist—be it cosmic transcendentalism with undertones of darkness or death incarnate with the prowess of healing—all is not quite as it seems.

Favorite tracks for me include the melodic and haunting opening track, “The Verger”; also, the “Threshold” with its ever-unfolding movements; and finally, “Death Comes in Waves” which recalls the title motif and includes some of the best moments on the album from the crushing percussion of Andre Schaltenberg to the evocative vocals of Christian Mertens. And I guess I should mention that there are seven tracks on this album. One clocks out at precisely 7:01, four at 7:02, one at 7:03, and one at 7:07 . . . just a whole lot of sevens happening. Oh, and the album drops on January 7. A. Lot. Of. Sevens.

DARK MILLENIUM has had their fair share of lineup changes and disruptions over the years, but sometimes turbulence can lead to positive innovations. Or so it seems in this case. All in all, “Acid Rain” is a well-crafted artifact of erudite metal, both in terms of musicianship and lyrics. A solid offering from DARK MILLENIUM in their third decade of wreaking havoc on our dark and dismal planet.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship:  8
Memorability: 6
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1.  The Verger
2.  Godforgotten
3.  Threshold
4.  Lunacy
5.  Essence
6.  Vessel
7.  Death Comes in Waves
Michael Burmann – Guitars
Hilton Theissen – Guitars
Christian Mertens – Vocals
Gerold Kukulenz – Bass
Andre Schaltenberg – Drums
Record Label: Massacre Records


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Edited 16 January 2022

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