DARKSEED – Ultimate Darkness

DARKSEED - Ultimate Darkness


Massacre Records
Release date: January 24, 2005

User Review
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In spite of no major commercial impact, German Goth Metal veteran Darkseed still serves an astonishing album with their 7th release, Ultimate Darkness. Having been around since the early 1990s, they have always remained faithful to the genre and now it’s payback time.

With Ultimate Darkness, Darkseed brings the best from Goth, Metal, Electronica and Industrial together, creating a massive attack of words and music. There is indeed a commercial edge to it, but not on the expense of artistic integrity. Instead, this is a natural evolution of their expressive style.

Comprised of 12 songs, Ultimate Darkness takes you deep within the world of creative force and singer Stefan Hertrich. Common for all songs are the massive guitars, the Industrial edge, and the hard and often distorted voice. There is also an occasional use of German phrases among the English lyrics. In fact, the seducing power of the German language lifts songs like “Burden” and “The Dark One” up to a magnificent level.

From the fist-in-your-face opener “Disbeliever,” to the closing, ballad-like “Sleep Sleep Sweetheart,” less than 50 minutes elapse. Except for the longer “Follow Me,” all songs clock in at more or less 4 minutes. Strangely, they all feel much longer in their massive and spectacular outfits. Also, this ultimate darkness is surprisingly colorful! Each song is easily associated with its own texture or feel or color. And not just shades of gray, but all colors from deep blue to intense red.

With a critical ear, however, one will notice a few pale aspects amid this colorful darkness. “Follow Me” is a little anonymous and less evolving compared to the other songs, while “The Fall” suffers slightly from its very commercial formula.

Darkseed’s strength lies in the dynamic power emerging from the contrast between monotonic arrangements and melodic vocal lines. They also score high on their lyrics, and the beauty that surfaces among the brutal arrangements of cascading sound. Lastly, their subtle use of electronics and effects is nothing but admirable.

Wrapping it all up, Ultimate Darkness is an album which demands and deserves attention. It survives on its honesty and emotional character, rather than on innovation. The album’s impact on Darkseed’s commercial success depends a lot on the purists’ reception of this hybrid. It might be too Goth to be Metal, and too Metal to be Goth, so to speak. Although, from this point of view, Goth and Metal lives in symbiosis on this album, so check it out and pay up!

And play it loud!


  • Frode Leirvik

    Frode was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Norway. His headbanging experience started when his brother-in-law gave him Deep Purple’s Fireball at the age of ten. Since then, he has also been a fan of and active in several other musical genres, resulting in a deep and profound interest in music. Some of his favorites, among all of those who have somehow managed to tap into the universal force of Progressive Music are (in no particular order): Thule, Dream Theater, King Crimson,Pink Floyd, Rush, Spock’s Beard, Jan Hammer and Jerry Goodman, Ekseption, Focus, The Beatles, Deep Purple and Frank Zappa.

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