382477Swedish death metal band Demonical have been raging about blood, fire and death since 2006. Darkness Unbound released via German label Cyclone Empire is their fourth, full-length release.

The first, and title track Darkness Unbound is brief, but majorly sinister and effective in introducing the darkness to come.

The Order is an aggressive, obliterating blast, made all the more intense with crushing vocals. This is really heavy, ferocious stuff, and I fucking love it. The technical guitar work adds another round of sparks to this powerful inferno.

An Endless Celebration brings to light that there is not going to be any respite throughout this release, but I’m not complaining! The energy in this track is fucking infectious. It’s unpredictable and inventive. The vocals are imposing, and the track as a whole feels really well honed.

Contempt And Conquest has a rip roaring intro. It’s like being shoved into battle with newly forged blades. The musicianship is exceptional.

King Of All sounds very Marduk influenced. It’s hostile and bleak, but rhythmic at the same time and pulls you into a trance. The vocals are really effective, and the guitar work has what sounds like an Egyptian vibe at one point. I like the fact they’re being experimental. It feels very progressive and different. I’d even go so far as to say mould breaking.

The Healing Control has a blistering start, one which displays the astonishing ability of the guitarists. The structure is unreliable and invigorating. They bring so much together and make it all work. There’s atmosphere, technicality, passion – all here in one crazy, fucking whirlwind.

Hellfire Empire is a scalding, stripped down track, though there is an element of chaos, and it sounds slightly rawer that what came before.

Words Are Death feels quite similar to Hellfire Empire and I find myself willing them to be slightly more experimental with the vocals. Still, it’s catchy and there are some interesting moments. There’s some evocative guitar solos, but it isn’t quite enough to hold the song together as strongly as the other tracks. It feels as if it missing something.

Deathcrown kicks off with a different, muted feeling. It feels quite smothered and muddy, though not as dense as the previous tracks. But it’s still enjoyable, conjuring something of a demonic atmosphere with the creepy riffs. At times, it feels quite repetitive and I feel as though I’m hanging on waiting.

The Great Praise has a gradual lead in. It feels intense, almost doomy. The riffs are undeniably catchy, while building up a dark atmosphere. Midway it slows right down, then builds itself back into something with an  entirely different feel.

World Beyond has a blistering start and it’s hard to keep up. It feels quite dirty and rough, and you don’t really have time to fathom what’s going on. It’s satisfying though, with some epic guitar solos which catapult you back twenty odd years or so.

The final track Burned Alive feels rough, though melodic. The brutal lyrics make this track for me, and the domineering guitar riffs, which are all controlling.

With Darkness Unbound, Demonical take the spirit of old and bind it with new, furious energy and dark, vicious magic. Highly recommended. [8.5]


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