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A Solid Effort Marred By Hokey Keyboards - 60%

Thumbman, December 2nd, 2019

First and foremost, Dark Inversion will always be most memorable to me for having one of my favourite bad corpse paint pics. It looks more like a bunch of juggalos dressing up for a Kiss concert than a metal band. Anyway, that's not to say Dark Inversion's music is bad. Some of it is good, even. On the whole it's a mixed bag, although it would have been a lot better without the half-assed quasi-symphonics. The Land of the Dead Warriors has its moments, and Dark Inversion really know how to carve melody into a riff without completely stripping it of its menace. Highlights aside, this album is fairly inconsistent and the lame attempt at being a symphonic band mars the whole experience.

Let's start with what Dark Inversion are actually good at: there's some really good riffs in the mix. The band follows the icy and atmospheric path of their Nordic forefathers, and lots of the riffs serve as a direct continuation of the second wave. A lot of them don't really stick, but it's the more melodic ones that generally stay with me. The band has a penchant for mixing melody with biting, icy riffs and when a really good one comes up it almost makes me want to reevaluate my opinion of Dead Warriors (that is until the keyboards come crashing in again). There's a noticeable Dissection influence that frequently informs this album's best parts. There's also some really solid drum work. The toms dancing over ominous arpeggios in "Eternal Darkness Over Icy Kingdom" produces a palpable sense of dread, and the dude really knows how to give the music a sense of forward motion.

As for the not so great side of Dark Inversion, their half-hearted attempts to break into symphonic black metal is a fucking travesty. They would have had an infinitely better album if they just left the keyboard for some ambient atmospherics or even just cut it entirely. It's just so blatant that they're not even trying with this facet of their sound. These sections have that corny-ass faux-bombast that just has no place in any sort of powerful black metal album. It is not only hokey as fuck, the execution is completely amateurish. And goddamn that awful fake flute tone that starts off "bloody Past, Glorious Future" - what the fuck are you doing, guys? There's also some fairly lame half-chanted clean vocals, but they're far enough in the background that that they just become relegated to non-entity status.

As I'm sure you can tell by now, Dead Warriors makes for a very uneven listening experience. I feel with a bit of tweaking, and whole lot less keyboards, Dark Inversion could have had a very good album on their hands. Some of the riffs here are flat out excellent, so them smearing shit all over their sound with hokey keyboard symphonics was a massively disappointing decision. Even with the synths, this isn't that bad - it just lessens what could have been a really good album. After listening to half of this, I always just want to turn it off and put on Obtained Enslavement instead.