Many, if not most, associate black metal as being intense, powerful, and the sheer embodiment of rage. Yet, as with everything, there’s always people who want to flip the script to shake things up. For black metal, those people created atmospheric BM, and we all know it even though not all love it. But then there are people who take it another step further to create something special. Darkened Winter is one band that has done such, and “Dark Age Warfare” is a prime example of that special something.
I always think of groups like Saor and Mesarthim whenever atmospheric black metal is being considered as they’ve made a hell of an impact on the style, but there’s always a band like Darkened Winter who’s influence is felt but never quite noticed by the larger scope of listeners. What this Australian one man band has done creatively is something that I feel we’ve all heard in one form somewhere before, but I’ve never seen it in such a pure yet raw form as with “Dark Age Warfare”. Four tracks are all we get from this record, but if you wanted music that perfectly fit the misty eerieness and ominous feel of the cover art then be prepared to not be disappointed one bit! Both the intro and outro are completely instrumental, and they both create this soothing feel that weaves through your soul, body, and mind to both prepare you for the coming explosion of black metal and then to take you out of it for a real proper ending. However, the two tracks in the middle provide that black metal kick that relies both on intertwining rhythms and riffs much like the classics. Yet, Darkened Winter managed to make “Dark Age Warfare” feel so much more . . . subdued than other black metal releases as it’s not really in your face – allows you to breathe – and ultimately enabling you to connect more with the high-quality metal that you’re being exposed to.
The fact that “Dark Age Warfare” is an overall very solid record makes for a better experience with so many excellent elements coming together to form one cohesive sound that’s no less than tantalizing. Darkened Winter has been very active over the last few years since the band’s inception, and I’ve no doubt in my mind to say that this is likely one of the man’s better releases. It’s got that power and flavor that attracts people to it, and I’ve no question that if “Dark Age Warfare” manages to spread that it may become an underground craze.
LISTEN to “Dark Age Warfare” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Darkened Winter on Facebook here.