After my extremely positive experience with The Return to Darkness, my next venture into Demonic Resurrection's work was with 2005's A Darkness Descends. This Indian extreme metal act grabbed my attention immediately with their progressive song structures, symphonic keyboards, and impressive technical capabilities, and I'm happy to say that A Darkness Descends delivers the goods almost as much as The Return to Darkness. Crushingly heavy riffs, deep gutteral growls, and captivating melodies are all found here, and Demonic Resurrection's ability to compose fantastic progressive death metal shines as brightly as ever with this observation. A Darkness Descends suffers from some production-related issues that didn't plague its successor, but this is otherwise an excellent purchase for fans of progressive death metal.
Musically, A Darkness Descends is progressive death metal with a heavy emphasis on Mephisto's symphonic keyboards. I'd say the music here rests somewhere between Dimmu Borgir, Edge of Sanity, Opeth, and Emperor. Demonic Resurrection has a distinct influence from melodic death metal in their music, and the frequent melodic leads and catchy keyboard sections keep A Darkness Descends from ever feeling too inaccessible in spite of its progressive song structures. In that sense, A Darkness Descends certainly isn't too far-removed from Crimson II-era Edge of Sanity. Although Demonic Resurrection wear their influences on their sleeves, the music here does come across as pretty original and unique, and I give the band tons of credit for their ability to stand out from most prog death metal outfits. Their ability as composers is also terrific, and A Darkness Descends is free of any weak tracks. Even though this is a pretty long album - it extends past the one hour mark - it never grows stale, and remains interesting for the full duration.
The only big "knock" I can give A Darkness Descends rests in the production department. The sleek production found on The Return to Darkness is nowhere in sight, and instead a much rougher, amateurish sound is present here. The drums sound weak and powerless, the mix is uneven, and the bass is inaudible at times. It's really a shame that this album is plagued with such a less-than-ideal production - musically, it's so damn good that I guess you have to look past technical flaws like this.
A Darkness Descends isn't a faultless album by any means, but it's a great purchase for fans of Demonic Resurrection and progressive death metal in general. I had a great time experiencing A Darkness Descends, and even though the fairly weak production interfered with my enjoyment on occasion, this is generally a terrific observation from this excellent band. If you like symphonic keyboards, memorable compositions, and top-notch melodies in your death metal, it's hard to not recommend this one in a heartbeat. 3.5 stars seems very fair for A Darkness Descends - with a better production, this could've easily been raised by a half-star.
1. Prelude To Darkness (1:01)
2. Dreams of the Dead (4:59)
3. Apocalyptic Dawn (6:17)
4. Behind the Mask of God (4:37)
5. Carnival of Depravity (5:41)
6. Spirits of the Mystic Mountains (4:57)
7. Where Shadows Lie (6:44)
8. A Darkness Descends (5:37)
9. Invoking the Demons (3:58)
10. Frozen Portrait (7:11)
11. The Summoning (7:30)
12. Overture To Glory (2:16)
Total Time: 60:48