Live Review from Underground Heavy #6:
1. Burying Alive
3. 288 D.C.
4. Darkness Pool
Darkness Pool, by contrast, do not really “mix” metal with something far-removed from it. They play the classic, chugging, headbang-ey, moshing kind of metal from just around the time that thrash was developing. That means, there’re still soaring solos, high-register rhythm chords, and the classic American rock style of powerful, epic-sounding vocals. The lyrics are first-person stories, too, rather than the metal tendency for monologue. They’re a blast from the past all right, and this is always a double-edged sword. The songs do tend to sound dated and samey, and even if you love metal, it grates on you from time to time. However, these guys play it with grit and in a commanding force that sweeps you over in a wave of Iron Maiden-like chromatic goodness.
The alternating between speeds in most subgenres of metal have always sounded jarring to me, and Darkness Pool was no exception – the changeover was particularly disjointed during their Untitiled song. Burying Alive was a mass of elastic riffs, thudding rhythms and Ian Gillian-type singing. Darkness Pool was as perfect a performance of any song as you can get – so much so, in fact, that I didn’t manage to take notes because I was enjoying it too much. Democracy, though, was their best song – they used darker and more abrasive textures, petulant solos, and had a certain unexplainable charge to it, perhaps in keeping with its subject. While they do need work so that the songs don’t sound like they’re divided into “the classic rock/70s metal part” and “the thrash-ey part”, etc, they’re just so good at the execution that the next time they play, I will be there.
Live Review from Underground Heavy #4:
Darkness Pool brought out their trademark high speed metal while their lead vocal, John, literally peaked the sound system. This band was a true veteran as you could see all five members doing their parts in absolute comfort. My mate Erik actually exclaimed that the guitarist was smiling while playing complex guitar solos. But that’s beside the point. This was the third time Darkness Pool played The Underground, although I have this strong intuition that they played more (last time they also shared the stage with Gong Wu, my research department told me). Understandably, you need to appreciate heavy music to like to listen to them. But the reason why I said something this stupid is because they were delivering mature metal songs (they explained their style is Thrash Metal), excellent musicianship, impressive stage presence (plenty of those that evening, though), without having to also dressed up in metal gear!
Live Review from Djizoes in Hong Kong:
Deep, moody, rip your throat out, throwing stones at you from all angles of hell. They would be the perfect background track for a walk through some horribly scary haunted woods, being chased by slow-moving but insanely angry spider-hornets. Plenty of restrained screaming and growling, but not high speed like hardcore or thrash. It’s more of a continuously pound you deeper into the ground style. The second song was a bit slower, dragging you through prehistoric tarpits past dozens of hopelessly trapped unfortunate souls screaming away in despair. all around very halloween-like but violently angry too. Some bits approach Slayer intensity but with much more attitude and musical range. Their Pantera cover, while great, was nowhere near as creative, varied, and rich as their original songs – but only because their own are that good.
Live Review from Underground 43:
Somewhere between rock and metal, but with an angry death element, lots of energy, and plenty of confident purpose. the drummer could use a little practice on getting the timing just right, but they’ve all got exactly the right idea for a really great thing. absolutely fantastic stuff, i really wish i grew up listening to bands like them. they’re the perfect mix of intensity, anger, creativity, raw meat, and tortured but carefully sculpted noise. rarely is such wide variety and creativity seen in any death metal-like bands, both in sounds, tunes, and beats. this was their debut performance, and i can only imagine what they might come up with in the future. one thing is for sure, i will be there to witness it. there is just no way to put the full excitement and intensity of their creation into words, so you’ll just have to see them for yourself. they’re more than good.