Darkest Era – Severance


Review by Jason Guest

Cruz Del Sur

Release date: 13 June 2014

Second albums are – as the saying goes – the “problem album”. Not so for Darkest Era. In the three years since their debut full length The Last Caress of Light, the band may have gone through what guitarist Ade Mulgrew called “a volatile period” (for more on that and more, see our interview with Ade here), but listening to Severance, you wouldn’t think it. What we have here is an album that has the maturity of a band much deeper into its career.

The band’s influences are still present but the band has evolved significantly since their debut. The song-writing and the musicianship are both noticeably developed. Instead of filler, there is substance throughout the album, all of Mulgrew’s and Sarah Weighell’s riffs flowing into the next in a complementary way to serve instead of flesh out the song. Add to that the precision drumming of new member Cameron Åhslund-Glass, the understated bass work of Daniel O’Toole, and the emotive and theatrical vocals of Krum and you have a bunch of musicians that feel more in tune with each other.

With a dark, aggressive side to it, the diversity of Severance is given a power that imbues the eight near-flawless tracks with as much weight as it does conviction. For one, the acoustic intro to opener ‘Sorrow’s Boundless Realm’ resonates with a distant past that spills over into the heaviness of the album to enhance the philosophical depths of the lyrics. As the album continues its depths unfold in a variety of intricately devised structures and arrangements that continually astound, not only because of the distinct absence of filler but also because of the seamless unity of such diverse styles as traditional metal, folk, elements of doom, and black metal. The result is, simply put, an album that belongs in your collection. Essential.

Darkest Era - Severance9 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. Sorrow’s Boundless Realm
  2. Songs Of Gods And Men
  3. The Serpent And The Shadow
  4. Beyond The Grey Veil
  5. Trapped In The Hourglass
  6. The Scavenger
  7. A Thousand Screaming Souls
  8. Blood, Sand And Stone