Darkc3ll don’t hold back. They never have, and I doubt they ever will. It says a lot about a band that can cause controversy without even trying – and Darkc3ll did just that with the cover of their second album, Dark Verses.
It was obvious in their debut album Reboot:Repeat that they were here to do what they wanted, how they wanted. It would seem that questions of whether any of the tracks can be played on the radio, or if it will appeal to the majority were thrown out the window, followed by sardonic laughter at the mere thought.
That “we don’t care” attitude continues with their second effort, which somehow manages to be bigger, dirtier and sexier than their debut. Darkc3ll are making some of the best industrial metal this side of the equator, because they are doing it for themselves and for the fans. You’ll still find no radio friendly tracks here, but who cares? Darkc3ll have found themselves supporting Wednesday 13, Combichrist, Hanzel und Gretel, and I personally got to watch Darkc3ll kill it on stage with Otep earlier this year. With that kind of exposure, remind me again why it’s important to appeal to the masses?
Darkc3ll may not actively seek to emulate the sounds of their inspirations (Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, NIN), but they can certainly be heard throughout the record. Don’t worry Dark Verses is not essentially a cover album of these artists, Darkc3ll’s own body shaking grooves run the show.
Darkc3ll’s anti-authoritarian message continues from Reboot:Repeat, only this time around it feels less focused on America, and more of a global assault on a society, which pushes so hard to stop anything that does not fit the convenient mould of being normal. Second track “Frankenstein” pretty much summarises the tone and message of the record.
The samples used on Dark Verses range from pop culture references: “God is dead…Hail Satan” taken from Rosemary’s Baby and used in “Six Hundred & Six Six”, to the prejudices of a ’50s preacher: “If you talk to the average teenager of today and you ask them what it is about rock n roll music that they like, and the first thing they’ll say the beat, the beat the beat,” conveniently bringing “Death of Rock ‘n’ Roll” to a close.
I guess those teenagers in the ’50s had it right about the beat. Dark Verses is one dirty, distorted, industrial metal track after another, each with a killer beat, alongside catchy riffs, hooks and brutal rage – what more could you want?
While any of the nine tracks could find a happy home on a nightclub setlist, “Bang!” is probably the most transferable with its repetitive beat that begs to be danced to. Its explosive chorus would not only make it a favourite on the dance floor, but you just know it would sound amazing live with a venue full of people chanting along.
Album closer “The One I Fear” slows things down and if…if…Darkc3ll were looking for a radio friendly track, this would be the closest they come. Placing it as the final track on the album definitely seems like a wise choice, as anywhere else would have broken the flow of the record with it’s significant change of pace.
Dark Verses is just one of the many great Australian albums that have been released in 2013, and is certainly worth your attention. Darkc3ll aren’t about to let this release slide by you with nothing but a cursory glance, so really, ready or not they are coming for you.
Remember, Darkc3ll don’t hold back, so before you press play, strap yourself in and be prepared to let the darkness take you.