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Review: Darkness by Oath - Near Death Experience
Darkness by Oath
Near Death Experience

Label: Cyclone Empire
Year released: 2012
Duration: 42:36
Tracks: 11
Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: June 3, 2012
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Readers Rating
Near Death Experience

Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (4 Votes)

Before I crack on with the brunt of this review, I have to say that the press release lead me down the wrong path of thought. A bold quote quickly drew my attention, by none other than producer/musician extraordinaire Dan Swanö: "In your face death metal with the right hooks! Guaranteed to rip your ears to shreds!"

Now that little line lead me to think this would be some awesome Swedish death metal along the lines of Evocation or Demiurg, when really this is pure Slaughter of the Soul worship. Although that isn't necessarily a bad thing, I just wish they would have held off on the quote, or at least added melodic death to the quote; last time I listen to a press release. Near Death Experience is pure unadulterated melodic death metal, and it's actually pretty good, albeit very pristine sounding.

Their sound definitely takes a few leaves from the At the Gates handbook, and there are some almost core moments, which aren't great, but could have been way worse. The vocals are a throaty scream that is utilized in both metalcore and melodic death metal, and whilst I can definitely see it being the proverbial off-putter for some, I don't mind them. They fit the music well, which is all I could really ask for.

Where this album is at its strongest is in the guitar work, which is well done, and the riffs themselves are quality, albeit reminiscent of later At the Gates. Tracks such as "In an Obscure Eternity" and "N.D.E." are particularly good, and the instrumental is really cool. However there are a couple of duds, mainly "A Cry of Terror (Voice From Nowhere)" which sadly has the soul of a blazing track but is ruined by a completely redundant main riff that sounds like fucking Mudvayne.

All in all this is cool enough, and fans of modern and melodic death metal will no doubt lap it up. I did find it bizarre that these guys came from Spain, and I had to check my map to see if there was another Spain in Sweden. A good effort.

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