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Serene Dark – Enantiodromia Award winner

Serene Dark
by "Der Bärtige Mann" Gareth Beams at 28 July 2020, 5:20 PM

SERENE DARK releases their first full-length album since the change of name back in 2018 from ENDEMISE. ENDEMISE had released three full-length albums, with Far from the Light and Anathema both being re-released under the new band name. The other album being the 2009 album, Unearth the Throne. David Sauve was replaced as drummer, being replaced by Nick Rodgers. All other band members remain the same.

Dualitatem” starts off with a keyboard intro, met along with use of samples. The song does eventually explode into life and melodies. The raw vocals are sharp, met with some brilliantly technical guitar play. The vocals seem to be leading the overall mix, and does control and balance the song out really well without seeming to take all the limelight. The melodic aspect is easy to hear and easy to enjoy. The use of technical guitar skills towards the end is nothing short of brilliant, it changes the direction completely and ends the song making me want to hear more. Solid start to the album.

Of Serpentine Form” continuous the high-intensity that the album is poring out. The build up is good, allowing us to appreciate what the instrumental side of the band can do. The vocals kick in again, and again, you can work out that they will be the lead controller within the song. The melodies swarming around the vocals shows the great balance. The feel of the song has gone far more Melodic Black Metal, I’m feeling some serious DISSECTION vibes here, and what’s more, they are executing it brilliantly. The control and aggression work perfectly together to expand the song and the album itself. There is such an immense sense of control, balance and carnage all rolled together.

Where Time Drowns Still” keeps the pace at a decent level. The screams reach out once more, this time to open up the song properly. The vocals are coarser this time, harder to follow, but still allowing the song to be directed by them. The instrumental play is once more on mark, following, but never overshadowed. The melodies are very similar to the rest we have heard, but because they are executed so well, its not an issue. The pace doesn’t remain at max level throughout the song, but as the melodies follow suit all round it works within itself to make new harmonies appear.

Trance of Disintegration” starts off with a further flurry of tempo, melodies and intensity. The vocals kick in, not slowing things down, but joining forces to create a stronger melody. The song doesn’t keep the pace, but it keeps control, it allows us to follow its direction, adding further sparks of excitement along the way. The song breaks down, slightly before repeating the increase of tempo. Its nothing new, but it works to build the song. Its another great song.

Dweller in the Void of the Spirit” has a slow approach to it, more like something you’d hear in a film, soon it does build up on the drums. This adds a great amount inf intensity and reminds me of BEHEMOTH, especially when the guitars kick in. the vocals add further intensity to the song. It seems to make the tempo thicken somewhat. This song has more experimentalisms to it, adding further depth to the album, which come as a nice surprise. You can tell they have a few tricks up their sleeves and not to presume we’ve already heard everything they have to offer.

Reflecting Envenomed” even though we’re midway through the album, these guys are not taking it easy. They keep up the high intensity levels flawlessly. They do slow things down midway into the song, building up slowly. The melodic guitar sections are a nice change to hear during this slower section of the song, showing true technical talent.

Grieving the Distortion of Self” begins with a slow, harmonic keyboard piece. The full instrumentals follow, keeping the symphonic feel pumping through the song nicely. The tempo picks up gradually, taking the melodies through the motions nicely. The further it goes on the less I feel likely to hear vocals. Its not a bad filler song, but little more.

Malocchio” continues the sample spoken word from the previous song, the sample soon stops as the melodies begin to build. Vocals kick in again, leading the way successfully. The intensity is not seemingly wanting to slow down one bit. The song doesn’t expand much further, but it hits hard nonetheless. Another good song, could have expanded a bit more, but if it’s not broke…

The Last Disciple of Dionysus” keeps the heavy tempo running well. The sound is a bit more sludgier than I would have thought they would so, the pace has gone down, but the control remains. This isn’t one of the more fresher sounding songs, maybe trying to tone it down as the end of the album is approaching.

Onward, Burning Radiance” the keyboard has returned, so has the sample spoken word. The tempo increases as the instrumental side of things start, this is a repeated trait we have heard a few times here. The vocals are slower, matching the pace. This one is clearly slower, which is a bit disappointing to hear.

It’s a great album, strong until the end which is disappointing, this is the only reason its not a 10/10. Will go well with many other Melodic or Blackened Death Metal songs in many playlists. Good and promising for the future. Keep an eye out for these guys.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Dualitatem
2. Of Serpentine Form
3. Where Time Drowns Still
4. Trance of Disintegration
5. Dweller in the Void of the Spirit
6. Reflecting Envenomed
7. Grieving the Distortion of Self
8. Malocchio
9. The Last Disciple of Dionysus
10. Onward, Burning Radiance
Francesco Falsetto – Lead Vocals
Graham Murphy – Guitars
Alex Aksentyev – Bass Guitar
Dale Sauve – Guitars
Nick Rodgers – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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