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Deconsecrate – Dark Night of the Soul

Deconsecrate
Dark Night of the Soul
by Daphne Minks Daly at 16 February 2021, 7:07 PM

It has been five years since DECONSECRATE released its last full-length album, and the Belgium-based band is back with a vengeance. A six-piece ensemble sporting two vocalists was initially founded by members of RETALIATE, SEVENTH CIRCLE, and 6 DAYS OF JUSTICE. Formed in 2012, DECONSECRATE describes itself as a synthesis of nineties metalcore, death, black metal, and modern hardcore. "Dark Night of the Soul," released through Reality Records, doesn't really deliver much in the way of hardcore or metalcore, despite DECONSECRATE's self-description. If those core influences are present, they represent only a slight undertone.

More than a plethora of distinctive doom, groove, and thrash metal vibes run through the entirety of this album, with the occasional hint of classic death metal. Mislabeled genres aside, the band does a great job of pulling together a unique sound with technical precision.

The album opener, "For This is Destiny," is a bit of a quandary. This one-minute, one-second soundtrack of tortured screams and tortured wails transport the listener into the bowels of hell, seemingly to prepare the audience for a foray into the brutal world of black-doom metal. However, the extreme set-up is a precursor to the wrong journey because what comes next is entirely different.

“Parasite, the album's second track, is a fantastically heavy tune with deep diving change-ups and sudden stops. This black metal infused homage is worthy of attention. While track three, "We Were Never Really Here," has an entirely different tone. It is hardly noticeable that there are actually two vocalists melding their talents a complex tune with power and black metal overtones. An unexpected style change balances the crunchy guitar and powerhouse drumming.

"Nausea," the fourth song on the album, is an unrelenting and thrashy, high hat workout that's very reminiscent of early thrash metal. Sick distortion, shredded vocals, and choppy guitar riffs weave groove metal all the way through this sinister track with a veil of death, doom, and hints of sludge for good measure.

“A Revelation," track six brings another unexpected change-up in the flow of "Dark Night of the Soul." Folk metal meets up with a little Viking metal. Although its placement in the middle of the album is a bit odd, the song's refinement is remarkable.

"Embrace the Desolation of Eden" is an exciting ménage à trois of thrash, post, and black metal with intoxicating stoner-doom sludge overtones. There could be the potential to get messy with two vocalists from time to time. Still, XantiX and Thomas' voices combine excellently together. With one singer projecting hostility while the other casts himself as the protagonist, the overall outcome is positively vicious vocal stylings against a fierce backdrop.

Without a doubt, The title track, "Dark Night of the Soul," is this reviewer's favorite track. Embarking on a sensually nightmarish trip, the album's closer is a combination of symphonic black metal married up with doom metal.

A well-mixed and technically executed album, "Dark Night of the Soul" incorporates spectacular guitar work, thundering drums, uniquely stellar bass lines, and distinctive vocals. The album is only 30 minutes long but nonetheless packed with power and chock full of death-groove. DECONSECRATE is a diverse band that's sure to keep audiences entertained.


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

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. For This Is Destiny
2. Parasite
3. We Were Never Really Here
4. Nausea
5. Heretic
6. A Revelation
7. Destroyer of Worlds
8. A Fatal Encounter
9. Embrace the Desolation of Eden
10. Dark Night of the Soul
Lineup:
XantiX – Vocals
Thomas – Vocals
Fre - Guitar
Pj – Guitar
Bart – Bass
Nico - Drums
Record Label: Reality Records
     


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