This album is so overlooked and neglected it almost makes you cry. It deserves so much more.
This was Swedish metal band Darkane's debut album, the only one to date that had Lawrence Mackory (a man whose vocal lunacy easily rivals Devin Townsend, Mike Patton and Paul Baloff) behind the mic. The album was greeted with glowing reviews upon its release, but the label soon went bankrupt and the album became impossible to find. That is, until 2004 when Regain did the world a favor by re-releasing it.
I guess Darkane could fall into that tired old "melodic death metal" genre, but there is so much more going on here. In Flames it sure ain't. Rusted Angel has the intensity of Slayer's Reign In Blood, the harmonies and dark moods of Testament's The Gathering and the barking mad insane asylum antics of Strapping Young Lad's City. Big words, I know. But doggammit if Darkane doesn't live up to every one of them. And with Meshuggah/Strapping Young Lad producer Daniel Bergstrand at the helm, how could you possibly go wrong?
After this album Lawrence Mackory left to persue other projects and was replaced by Anders Sydow. Why the band chose him is anyone's guess. Darkane kept writing brilliant songs even after this album, but I never cared for any other Darkane albums simply for the fact that Anders' boring voice has nothing on Mackory's nutjob screams & growls. Honestly, it's like Mike Patton quit Faith No More and was replaced by that dude from Papa Roach. Sydow left the band not long ago, and hopefully his replacement won't be as generic.
All in all, this is a full-fledged masterpiece. With the combination of the ridiculously intense shredding, the mind-boggling drum work (watch your back, Gene Hoglan!), the occasional infusion of choral and classical elements, the flawless production that only sounds more powerful and "punchy" the more you crank up the volume, and vocals that could use a straitjacket, the result is almost too good to grasp.
Just listen the part at 1:16 into Bound where the drums and the guitars work in beautiful synced harmony while Mackory belts out "LISTEN TO THE SCREAMS OF AGONY!!!" at the top of his lungs. It's divine, my friends. Divine.
Easily one of the top 10 metal albums of the last 10 years. Metal Bastard approves!
(mp3) Darkane - Bound (highly recommended!)
(mp3) Darkane - Rusted Angel
Buy Rusted Angel @ Amazon.com.
Darkane recording Rusted Angel: