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Dark Vision - Ianos

Dark Vision
by Oli Gonzalez at 25 January 2022, 1:58 AM

DARK VISION began their assault on the extreme metal world way back in 1996. To still be going strong today is a testament to the band’s longevity and commitment. “Ianos” represents the band’s latest effort, drawing on bands such as SATYRICON and MAYHEM as key influences. The opening track “Ignis”. Wow, talk about setting the mood and tone for the album! This is dark, creepy, atmospheric. But most crucially, it’s only 30 seconds or so in length. Just the right amount of time to make you think ‘what on earth is this?’, leaving you in a state of confusion before you’re assaulted by a wall of sound. What does a black metal band sound like? Inhuman growls and shrieks? Insanely fast tremolo picked guitar riffs? Ferociously fast blast beats? You’ll see many of these key elements throughout the album.

Most crucially in “Absurdity in Abyss”, which I feel is perhaps the closest to a traditional black metal song. However, the band mix it up with tempo changes and also some cleaner backing vocals. I’m impressed with the production values too! The mix on every song is fantastic. Some bands of this genre think it’s ok to produce a recording that sounds half hearted and lazy, one step up from shoving a voice recorder in the middle of the band rehearsal room! But no, here every instrument sounds crisp, sharp, and perfectly balanced. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there also seems to be a low ominous sounding backing track, loud enough to be noticed, but not quite salient enough to be fully distinguishable to the listener. It seems to tie in all the instrumental elements in nicely. It’s this attention to detail that makes average albums sound like good albums!

“Of Unknown Artist” was an interesting song for me. This is a much slower groovier number, and demonstrates that the band will challenge themselves to explore all aspects of the extreme metal genre, and not be content with being boxed within the confines of ‘just’ being black metal. This is even more apparent in “Gruesome Tide” which definitely borrows grooves and rhythms from thrash metal. The bass is also a lot ‘clangy’ and metallic in sound, again similar to what you can expect in thrash. My personal highlight is “Defile The Pure”. This is 10 minutes of extreme metal ecstasy. The guitars remain ominous and intense throughout and really are the key to this song! Supplemented with Mark’s consistently evil yet annunciate growls and some lighting fast blast beats on the drums! “Deathwish” is an interesting addition to the album. I have to confess I had no idea that it was a CHRISTIAN DEATH cover! I’m not familiar with the original so can’t comment on how  close or far DARK VISION’s effort. Either way, this song has a vocal texture and crushing guitar tones like nothing else heard on the album!

Overall, this is an impressive album! Simply put. It’s been recorded and produced to a high standard, and contains everything you’d expect from a black metal album. It’s a great advert for the genre. There’s attempts to make the genre their own and it works! I think that in order to make their next album better, they just need to expand on this more and truly make the genre and their sound their own. Because sadly, I just don’t think there’s quite enough there to make it truly stand out from the efforts of their contemporaries within the genre. With that being said, I definitely want to hear more from this band as they certainly have all the ingredients to be the full package!

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

4 Star Rating

1. Ignis
2. Absurdity in Abyss
3. Cosmic Storm
4. Asylum
5. Of Unknown Artist
6. Defile The Pure
7. Sulfur Vision
8. Deathwish (Christian Death cover)
9. Gruesome Tide
10. Keep
Giannis K – Drums
Mark – Vocals
Frag – Bass
Defiant – Guitars
Record Label: Cult of Parthenope


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Edited 23 May 2022

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