Written by: Kurtis Bradimore
Dark Rites is a 3 piece metal outlet featuring members from Sweden, The U.K and The United states. Formed in 2016, Dark Rites has been captivating metalheads around the globe with hard hitting riffs, brutal blast beats and ungodly screams. The band blends many elements of death metal, heavy metal, black metal and metalcore together to create uniquely melodic and heavy compositions while still remaining true with classic metal roots.
Since their conception in 2016, Dark Rites has gone in to win “Band of the month" at Metal Devastation Radio as well as releasing 2 full length albums Dark Rites(2017) and Welcome to Eternity(2018) which I will be reviewing below. From crushing chugs to soulful solo's, Dark Rites consistently showcase their ability to excel in the metal industry. I found their sound easy to jump into as it emulated familiar vibes and tones as such big name outlets like Lamb of God. However, their style and delivery places them in a category of their own, filled with evil tones and darkened melodies.
I had heard of the band prior to reviewing the album and was very excited to be given the opportunity to review their latest full length album for Screams Media. I decided to give an in depth look at my 5 personal favourites off the album, as well as some honourable mentions, which you can check out below!
ANTS (Track 7) Commencing with an aggressive guitar riff and subtle drums, gradually building into an eruption of sound. Fast paced double bass and ghastly, raspy vocals had me headbanging as soon as they kicked in. The song follows a fairly consistent beat, which is suddenly contrasted by a soulful guitar solo at the bridge of the song. The consistently fast speed, partnered with powerful vocal lines in this track made it stand out from the others . The track concludes with a variation of the opening riff, conclusively transitioning into the next track. Fist through the wall (Track 12) Beginning immediately with a harsh and raspy growl, coupled with intense chugging guitar riffs and fast paced, rhythmic drumming, this songs name is as fitting as it gets. The song continues at a consistent speed, with drums progressively getting faster leading up to the chorus. The chorus of this song is particularly heavy. The lyrics “One fist through the wall” are actively enhanced by the fierce blast beats and long, drawn out screams, making for an intense eruption of brutality. The mid section of this song features a lively guitar solo, giving a sense of light in a sea of darkened tones. The track concludes with a repetition of the chorus, only slightly angrier and emotional with the use of high toned harsh vocals. This was my personal favouritism track off the album.
Outcast (track 10) Powerful, energetic and exciting, this track is an action packed joyride. Beginning calm and illusive, with a impassioned guitar riff, reminiscent of Atreyu's hit song “The Remembrance Ballad" before erupting into a collective of ghastly screams and blasting double bass. The track continues fast and dominant, casually breaking into various grooves and chugging riffs. Much like the other tracks in the album, this song features a face melting solo before the bridge. The complexity and sheer speed of the footwork on this track is nothing short of impressive. The track concludes with a repetition of the chorus before fading to the next track.
Soar Alba gu brath (Track 2) “Alba gu brath" is a Scottish/Gaelic phrase meaning “Scotland forever" or “until judgment". Fitting as a name, considering this song feels like a great medieval battle. This track begins calmer and more composed, compared to the other tracks. Grim guitar riffs and rhythmic drumming helps to build the atmosphere as the track intensifies. Once the vocals kicked in, the line “we’re going to war" pierces through the instrumentals. I particularly enjoyed the strong emphasis and projection in the high vocals throughout the beginning of this track. The song is fairly consistent in its beat, concluding with agile double bass and long, drawn out scream before fading out. Starving for violence (track 4) This track begins with energetic guitar riffs a top chugging guitar and bass. Persistent blast beats and piercing double bass keep this track full of energy. Much like the other tracks on the album, this one follows a consistent 4/4 timing, showcasing powerful chugging riffs and grim, ghastly vocals. The bridge of this song features angsty guitar solo, transitioning into the outro riffs. The song comes to a very abrupt ending, making me double check whether or not I had accidentally changed the track. Honorable mentions
Broken and torn – I particularly enjoyed the overall beat of this song. It's quick, compelling and heavy. I found the chorus of this song stuck in my head at random moments throughout the day. The breakdown at the end is incredibly heavy and catchy. Solid track from front to back.
Circus – The intro riff of this song is one of those “infinite" type of riffs, meaning I could listen to it over and over again and not get sick of it. The footwork in this song is very impressive. The continuous double bass coupled with the aggressive guitar work renders this one of the heaviest tracks on the album All in all, I really enjoyed this album. I felt immense amounts of old school nostalgia while listening to it. I was reminded of early high school memories, listening to Lamb of God and Five Finger Death Punch In between classes. The strong use of blast beats and violent guitar riffs elevated the heaviness of the album, all while remaining true to classic metal roots. The piercing high vocals coupled with raspy, demonic lows created an almost black metal element to the sound. I would recommend this album to any and all fans of classic metal such as Lamb Of God, Trivium, Amon Amarth, etc. You can keep up to Dark Rites activities through their social media accounts linked below and check them out if you haven't already!
Visit the full album here on Bandcamp.
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