without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
All is black and silent and cold. Even your own breathing seems to become lost in the endless black which surrounds you. You’re floating, motionless. Suddenly you become aware of your heartbeat, pulsing dents into the silence. Shapes begin to form in front of you. A wisp of eerie white light caresses your vision, sparkling and glinting with the magical mirth of mystery. Then another. Patterns begin to morph and interweave, and still you’re floating, motionless in wonder and in fear. The light is almost dazzling now, and you can almost feel its droplets glance off your body. Then all is black once more. Black and silent and cold. Even your own breathing seems to be lost in the endless black which surrounds you. You’re floating, motionless…
Darkspace are one of the most conceptually clear bands to exist in this day and age, despite giving us little to go on externally. Indeed, their music largely reflects their name. From their music to their highly minimalistic website, they never fail to capture the intrigue, potential, mystery and vastness contained within the “dark” that is outer space. Musical influences spray in from all around with the concept rather than style in mind, including death metal and industrial, but BM and ambient are the main sources. Seven endlessly sprawling canvases of eerie grey make up this album, mostly longer than ten minutes a piece, never becoming boring and never failing to suck you in deeper and deeper. Those who don’t like “soundscape” music, stay clear.
When in full flow Darkspace often reach a fully-fledged almost Vore-esque death metal chug, but it’s subtle enough in variation to provide ambience rather than take away from it. Most of the other guitar passages could be compared to the Demoncy/Darkthrone/Blut Aus Nord school of thought, with simple tremelo melodies (varying in mood from eerily dissonant to wholly epic) being repeated over tastefully blasted drumming (similar to Fullmoon at times) which provides the pulse of the work.
Yet these just provide the backbone for the beautiful keyboards/synthesisers (at least, I presume that’s what they are) to do their work upon. Mystical is the best word to describe these melodies; they hang over the music like stars hang over the Earth, resonating with an unsettling glimmer and seemingly expanding the music to infinite levels, not so unlike those in a certain classic Burzum track we all love.
Vocals are sparse and alien, certainly used as an instrument rather than to deliver lyrics. Occasionally the melodies are even warped electronically or echoed (forgive my lack of terminology on the industrial front), or the drums are almost trance-like, or there are ambient passages where eerily shimmering high-pitched noises accompany a machine-like drone (see the end of track 3 for details), and by gum it all works (apart from perhaps the start of track 6, at which the words “Luke, I am your father” wouldn’t seem at all out of place ;))!
This is another cracking project from the circle which also produced Paysage d'Hiver, and “Dark Space I” is surely one of the best releases of 2003. Recommended without hesitation.