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Darzamat: Transkarpatia

What would you get if you combined Dimmu Borgir with The Gathering? Quite possible you'd get something like Poland's Darzamat. This band have been around the scene for a few years now, but it's clear on Transkarpatia that they are now really starting to hit their stride. The band plays an extremely symphonic style of extreme metal, with abundant keyboards and crunchy guitar riffs, while evil male black metal shrieks (in a similar style to Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth, Old Man' Child, and Bal-Sagoth) do battle with soaring female vocals for a truly impressive sound. There's no shortage of fine songs here, such as the stampeding "Vampiric Prose", the orchestral "Hallucinations", the extreme metal frenzy of "Blacward", or the massive crunch of "Recurring Yell". The female vocals of Nera make for a wonderful tempering agent to the growls and shrieks from Flauros, as the two work marvels on one of the most progressive tracks here, called "Old FOrm of Worship", a tune that even recalls Nightwish with it's gothic tone. The band even mixes crushing doom with symphonic keyboards on "Tempted By Rot".

The only real downside to this album is that are perhaps a few too many segue instrumental tracks, as well as a couple of mostly vocal pieces featuring Nera devilishly crooning to an atmospheric and gothic instrumental track. These songs sort of break up the pace of this otherwise strong release of symphonic black & gothic metal, but not enough to look over the good amount of killer material here. Darzamat have a style that is sure to turn a lot of heads and gain some new fans with this one.

Track Listing
1. Sanguinarius (Intro)
2. Vampiric Prose
3. Hallucinations
4. Inhumatus (Intro)
5. Burning Times
6. Letter from Hell
7. Blackward
8. Recurring Yell
9. Arancum (Intro)
10. Labyrinth of Anxiety
11. Virus
12. Old Form of Worship
13. Tempted by Rot
14. Tribute to...

Added: August 29th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Darzamat Website
Hits: 3260
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Darzamat: Transkarpatia
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-08-29 06:25:23
My Score:

I originally found Darzamat a little difficult to comprehend as not only were beautiful and haunting female vocals present in the Metal, but there is also a Dimmu Borgir styled Black Metal vocal presence. The combination of the two makes for a unique dynamic across the length of the album and is sure to make a few more people aware of this band, and what they bring to the table. Hailing from Poland, this group has been around since 1995 and with Transkarpatia seems to have matured and raised the quality of their sound from samples I heard from the bands past. The female lead is Nera, and she haunts the tracks like a dark siren while Flauros (the male/Black Metal lead) growls in answer to her. The result is unique because under all of the back and forth singing the band is thunderous and truly bringing some great Metal to life. According to their website, the name Darzamat itself refers to a spirit guardian of the gardens and forests. I have to say that I enjoyed most of the tracks after only a few listens, with special focus being on "Vampiric Prose", "Hallucinations" and "The Burning times". The production and sound on the album is top notch and it is perhaps due to the assistance in this area by Andy LaRocque (guitarist of King Diamond). It is an album that fans of both Arch Enemy and perhaps even Cradle Of Filth should look into based on some of the intrinsic similarities in style. It is a creative piece and definitely brings you into their world on every track. A booklet with lyrics and photos are included to get a better grasp of the subject matter and it never hurts when it's a band that has an interesting presence. There are a couple of weird moments on the release such as "Letter To Hell" which is mostly talking in a number of voices by Nera, as she acts as both Accuser and Accused during a witch trial. It completes and leads into "Blackward", which is a very Arch Enemy inspired track. If there is a downside to the release it would have to be in the very apparent and far too numerous instrumental segues that lead into not one but three of the numbers. While they do tend to build up a little mood for this type of band, it would have been nicer to use the time on an additional piece of music. In truth, the closer track "Tribute To", is one of these as well, and is a bit on the eerie side and a strange way to close the album. The group stays in character in name as well, as Chris (guitar), Spectre (keyboards), Bacchus (bass) and Darkside (drums) round them out. This is a high recommendation, despite my finding too many intro parts - I think this group has a potentially bright future ahead of them so be sure to check them out.

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