Ten Years

Self released 2006

France is mainly known these days for is strange and experimental black metal scene but that doesn't mean that the whole country is bereft of talent in other musical veins.  Darkshine plays an aggressive blend of black and death metal.  Ten Years is a comprehensive look back at their career to date with 2 songs from 2006, 4 from 2004, and 2 more from 2000.  The further back one goes on this disk the more primitive and more death metal the music becomes though this is only a matter of degrees.  I suppose that is to be expected from a band and within the framework of Ten Years we are treated to ringside seats with which to listen to Darkshine as they grow and become progressively better songwriters and more talented musicians.  Plus the production gets worse but it is never an unlistenable mess as Darkshine seem to have been about quality since day one.  I had seen Darkshine in concert with Aeternus before hearing this album so I knew a lot of what to expect as their style is somewhat of a melodic black metal mesh with death metal not unlike what Dissection did.  Though Darkshine's style is less melodic and more brutal and aggressive than anything Dissection had done in recent years.  Darkshine have managed to craft standout tracks throughout their career such as Vseslav(2000) with its acoustic guitars, Sanguis Christi(2004) with its guttural and hate invoking chorus, and A Whore for God(2006) whose melodic riffing is hypnotizing as it swirls and caves into blasting drumming sections.  This retrospective is a worthwhile investment both to listen to a talented black death band as it grows but also to hear quality music in its own right.  It'll be interesting to see how Darkshine progress into the future.  Will they remain true to the very structured and static style they are currently using or will they expand outward and become even more creative?  I know I am "still waiting for Judgement Day!"