Quite why I’ve never come across this Swiss act is puzzling such is their relatively prolific discography over the span of about two decades. Though I will rectify that by investigating their back catalogue forthwith as this sixth release sees a band melding the piercing aggression of thrash with the pulverising onslaught of death metal extremely cohesively and in doing so unleash a plethora of fine riffs, hooks and downright catchy tracks.
That catchiness smashes clean in the face when the opener “Liar Liar” blasts into life with a catchy riff and half blasted assault that assails in waves of unmitigated power creating a frantically driven opener that will hook you in instantly. The song twists around the onslaught of the blast beat but embedded into the song writing the band adds nifty bass runs and cool double kick salvos as “Old Assholes” continues the viciousness with another excellent riff and cymbal smashing catalyst to catapult the song into savage realms as that thrash quality rears up proudly here.
I’d like to say that “Next” has a groove metal riff foundation bolstered by the hammering rhythm section which continually pumps vigour into all the tracks as the song leads into a very cool riff break and subsequent lead that is ingrained seamlessly. “Spartan” is an immense death metal tune, the bombarding double bass epitomises the genre as the guitar work whilst having a dense overriding tone is also laced with a slight avant-garde touch that had me thinking about Coroner and to some extent mid-era Voivod due to the tone inflection the melody has. That deluging drum display continues into “Daily Zombies” as an avalanche materialises via the double kick as a pumping bass riff is injected right before the song hurtles into a blast section briefly and here there are similarities to Monstrosity’s “In Dark Purity” and “Rise To Power” period due to that inherent catchiness I’ve already mentioned.
A clean spoken voice initiates “Lobotomized”, creating a sinister aura whilst the deathliness of the riffing lays the foundation for the song to blaze into a speed incursion that appears intermittently, as again that catchy ethos is fully manifested along with those Coroner and Voivodesque riffing components. Ending this fine release is “Bullshit Theories”, the song slows things down hugely with an eerie riff and short build up that detonates with a full blast beat as for the most part the band sticks to half blasted tempos, and as the song develops it unveils a scathing disturbing riff and an immense catchy intermittence of double bass rolls. The abrupt changes in riff and tempo work well, creating powerful momentum that keep you alert as the song toys with snare rolls, elongated vocal rolls before plunging into a desolate guitar hook. The closer is my favourite of the album, its layering of pulverising prowess with tangential pace changes is formidable and it is this aspect of Darkrise’s song writing I particularly enjoyed the most, making the album vibrant, energetic and just that little bit different.
(8.5/10 Martin Harris)