Dark Horizon - Official Website

Darkness Falls Upon Mankind

Germany Country of Origin: Germany

Darkness Falls Upon Mankind
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Buy on: Bandcamp
Type: Full-Length
Release Date: March 23rd, 2024
Label: Independent
Genre: Black, Death, Melodic
1. Secrets Of The Nightmare Prophecies
2. Darkness Falls Upon Mankind
3. The Awakening
4. Old Gods
5. Tempest Of Ancient Screams
6. In The Hall Of Bloodstreams
7. Am Tag Meines Todes
8. Funeral
9. Ekpyrosis
10. The Brimstone Gate (Naglfar Cover)
11. King Of The Distant Forest (Mithotyn Cover)

Review by Michael on April 14, 2024.

German Dark Horizon is a band that has existed for almost 20 years but they just released their 2nd full-length studio album Darkness Falls Upon Mankind in March. Apart from those two, they released a demo back in 2008 and in 2017 an EP. I got Darkness Falls Upon Mankind straight from the band (thank you!!) and with it, they were also very kind and sent me some further press information. So let me introduce the band in a little bit more detail to you. Dark Horizon was formed in 2007 hailing from Kassel in Hesse with the intention to worship the Scandinavian and German black metal scene back from the 90s with a mixture of melody, melancholy, and disharmony.

Okay, so much for the history. Let's see if Darkness Falls Upon Mankind really comes true. Having a glimpse of the cover, the few of you who are into the extreme metal scene might notice the similarity to the debut album by Shunyata which isn't the biggest surprise if you check the cover artist. This is Juanjo Castellano who did a very good job with this cover which spreads dark and cold atmosphere. This is already a good start, I would say. But is the atmosphere also conveyed into the music? I would say yes. The first six songs especially spread a very frosty Scandinavian atmosphere with the promised melodies and melancholy but also with a lot of hatred and fast tremolo riffs. You can clearly recognize their major influences like Dissection (huge) and the (not-so-huge) Gates Of Ishtar or The Moaning but they also have a lot of their own creativity to appear, they’re not just sheer copy-cats. And with their last creation ('Ekpyrosis') they also let creep in some more epic and highly melodic tunes that sometimes remind me of the Viking era Bathory. Apart from the melodic arrangements they have put much more fury and aggression into their compositions than a lot of their role models. When it comes to the vocals, they sound much more pissed off and full of anger. The guitar work is awesome too. The melodies the Hessians composed are without question almost equal to a lot of reference albums back from the 90s. The drums sound very powerful and well-timed and frame the aggressive mood perfectly and the production which was done by Andy Classen (I guess older folks should remember him as a member of Holy Moses) is what I want to hear from a black metal band. The bass sound isn't too fat and the balance between the instruments is good. The guitar sound is a little bit sterile and cold, well, just like what Dissection did back in the 90s.

So let me just state here that their compositions have become really convincing (only the German track 'Am Tag Meines Todes' has turned out a little bit tough to handle because of its length and slower pace) and as a cherry on top Dark Horizon serves us two interesting covers. The first one is 'The Brimstone Gate' by Swedish legends Naglfar from their second album “Diabolical” and the second one is 'King Of The Distant Forest' by their countrymen Mithotyn from their same-titled second album. Both are pretty close to the original, which I don't consider too bad. I know some people that always complain about cover versions that are too close to the original but I personally hate it when they turn out completely different from the original. Only “Wish You Were Here (Now Go Away)” by Brutal Truth is an exception. Fuck Pink Floyd!

If you need some nostalgic feelings this spring and wish you were here back in 1996 (to catch up with fucking Pink Floyd again) you should check out Darkness Falls Upon Mankind. And let me fall back to my question about the atmosphere concerning the music – the cover and music match perfectly.

Rating: 8.9 out of 10