RTD Records/Rocket Distribution
Reviewed By Justin Donnelly
Nothing original, but done exceeding well nonetheless
A year after the release of their debut full-length effort, Reboot : Repeat, playing in front of live audiences as support to Genitorturers, Wednesday 13, Otep, and a slot on this year’s prestigious Soundwave bill, Gold Coast industrial rock outfit DARKC3LL (Formerly known as Devilution) are back with their latest effort, Dark Verses.
As solid and enjoyable as Reboot : Repeat was, it’s clear that the four piece outfit (comprising of vocalist Jesse Dracman, guitarist/synth programmer Postmortem Matt, bassist Rit Derelict, and new drummer Jay Macabre) have grown in the 12 months between visits to the studio, with Dark Verses marking a huge step up for DARKC3LL on almost every level.
The album opens up with the title track, “Dark Verses”, which begins with a minute long dark and foreboding keyboard/guitar wall of noise under a spoken word sample, before the band eventually get proceedings underway with their take on industrialised rock. Although punchy, catchy, and rocking for the most part, “Dark Verses” is perhaps one of the album’s weaker tracks, with the shift from slower verses to the speedier chorus sounding too disjointed to really gel as a whole. Having said that, Dracman is in fine form on the vocal front with his Edsel Dope-like voice, and the crystal clear production gives the music a much needed sharpened edge.
It’s with the follow-up track, “Freakenstein”, where DARKC3LL really hit their stride. Combining the best elements of Wednesday 13, Rob Zombie, and Marilyn Manson, DARKC3LL delivers their songs with plenty of hooks, but with enough muscle and edginess to sound match the best the industrial rock scene has to offer up.
Elsewhere, the hard rocking “Death of Rock ‘N’ Roll”, “Bang!”, and “Six Hundred & Six Six” sees the band toying around with the standardised industrial formula a little more with great results (particularly the latter, which bring to mind the perfect blend of Thin Lizzy riffs coupled with Marilyn Manson sounding drums), while the darker sounding “Exorcist”, the Eastern tinged “Suicide Death Ride” (which is hands down the strongest cut on the album), and the lengthy closer, “The One I Fear”, offer enough variety to the album as a whole to keep things interesting throughout.
While DARKC3LL isn’t offering anything revolutionary on Dark Verses in terms of the industrial rock genre, they do what they do exceedingly well. In plain terms, if you’re a fan of Wednesday 13, Dope, Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson, you’ll find plenty on offer here to move even the blackest of black souls.