“Transkarpatia” by Darzamat

Artist: Darzamat
Title: “Transkarpatia”
Label: Metal Mind Productions
Release Date: 8/29/2006
Genre: Gothic Metal
Rating: 4.5/5

I originally found Darzamat a little difficult to comprehend as not only were beautiful and haunting female vocals present in the Metal, but there is also a Dimmu Borgir styled Black Metal vocal presence. The combination of the two makes for a unique dynamic across the length of the album and is sure to make a few more people aware of this band, and what they bring to the table. Hailing from Poland, this group has been around since 1995 and with “Transkarpatia” seems to have matured and raised the quality of their sound from samples I heard from the bands past. The female lead is Nera, and she haunts the tracks like a dark siren while Flauros (the male/Black Metal lead) growls in answer to her. The result is unique because under all of the back and forth singing the band is thunderous and truly bringing some great Metal to life. According to their website, the name Darzamat itself refers to a spirit guardian of the gardens and forests. I have to say that I enjoyed most of the tracks after only a few listens, with special focus being on “Vampiric Prose”, “Hallucinations” and “The Burning times”. The production and sound on the album is top notch and it is perhaps due to the assistance in this area by Andy LaRocque (guitarist of King Diamond). It is an album that fans of both Arch Enemy and perhaps even Cradle Of Filth should look into based on some of the intrinsic similarities in style. It is a creative piece and definitely brings you into their world on every track. A booklet with lyrics and photos are included to get a better grasp of the subject matter and it never hurts when it’s a band that has an interesting presence.

There are a couple of weird moments on the release such as “Letter To Hell” which is mostly talking in a number of voices by Nera, as she acts as both Accuser and Accused during a witch trial. It completes and leads into “Blackward”, which is a very Arch Enemy inspired track. If there is a downside to the release it would have to be in the very apparent and far too numerous instrumental segues that lead into not one but three of the numbers. While they do tend to build up a little mood for this type of band, it would have been nicer to use the time on an additional piece of music. In truth, the closer track “Tribute To”, is one of these as well, and is a bit on the eerie side and a strange way to close the album. The group stays in character in name as well, as Chris (guitar), Spectre (keyboards), Bacchus (bass) and Darkside (drums) round them out. This is a high recommendation, despite my finding too many intro parts – I think this group has a potentially bright future ahead of them so be sure to check them out.

Track List:
1. Sanguinarius – intro
2. Vampiric Prose
3. Hallucinations
4. Inhumatus – intro
5. The Burning Times
6. Letter From Hell
7. Blackward
8. Recurring Hell
9. Arancum – intro
10. Labyrinth Of Anxiety
11. Virus
12. The Old Form Of Worship
13. Tempted By Rot
14. Tribute To..

Official Web site: http://www.darzamat.art.pl

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