Darkened – Kingdom of Decay

Darkened is an international death metal band consists of members from three countries, Sweden, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

The members come from other more or less known bands, Andrew Whale who play the drums is known from Memoriam and have played in Bolt Thrower during their early years.

Guitarist Linus Nirbrant is known from A Canorous Quintet, This Ending and more, the other guitarist Hempa Brynolfsson has a project with singer Gord Olson, and bassist Tobias Cristiansson plays in Grave and used to play in Dismember.

That was a lot of name dropping, so to the music then. I actually think of the Stockholm death metal scene from the nineties combined with Gothenburg style and American death metal.

This may a bit more fine-tuned and polished and just enough of melodies so it can´t be described as melodic death metal, which is good.

Darkened are in perfect balance between “traditional” death metal and melodic death metal, without taking the step too long from death metal over to the more melodic genres.

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An extra plus on this record is that there are no clean vocals thrown in the mix. In most cases when bands do that I think it changes to the whole song and/or album to weak. There are of course exceptions there. But, not on this record, so why do I even mention that?

Of course, Bolt Thrower and Memoriam comes to mind when listening, probably impossible to avoid, but why should they?

The album is really good and it sounds great, clear, and heavy. “Kingdom of Decay” is mastered by Dan Swanö of Unisound Studios, so that fact and that all members of the band are talented and experienced should be enough to convince me that this is a great album, and so they do.

There are 11 songs (intro and outro included) of excellent and varying death metal that has everything from quite fast and brutal parts to more slow, almost groovy parts and parts that are more melodic.

To be honest I must say that it is quite rare that I listen to death metal nowadays, and even more rare, a full album around and around. But this album never gets boring, it’s really good and kind of progressive, which makes it interesting and I don´t get bored for a second.

Darkened – Kingdom of Decay, Release September 11th, 2020,Edged Circle Productions


  1. Nekros Manteia [00:55]
  2. Dead Body Divination [03:39]
  3. 1000 Years [04:22]
  4. Pandemonium [04:29]
  5. Cage of Flesh [04:52]
  6. The Burning [03:57]
  7. The Old Ones [04:25]
  8. Kingdom of Decay [05:16]
  9. Of Unsound Mind [04:24]
  10. The White Horse of Pestilence [05:55]
  11. Winds of Immortality [01:19]

Hempa Brynolfsson – guitar (Excruciate)
Linus Nirbrant – guitar (A Canorous Quintet, This Ending)
Tobias Cristiansson – bass (Grave, ex-Dismember)
Gord Olson – vocals (Ye Goat Herd Gods)
Andy Whale – drums (Memoriam, ex-Bolt Thrower)

Artist: Darkened
Album title: Kingdom of Decay
Genre: Death Metal
Country/Location: International, Sweden, Canada & United Kingdom
Record label: Edged Circle Productions
Release date: September 11, 2020

Format Reviewed: Digital promotion album, 320 kbp/s mp3

Darkened - Kingdom of Decay
  • 80%
    Artist - Album - 80%
  • 90%
    Sound - 90%


This is an overall excellent death metal album with the perfect balance between “traditional” death metal and the more melodic type of death metal. The fan of both types of death metal will for sure find Darkened interesting!

Highlights or favorite tracks on “Kingdom of Decay” are “Dead Body Divination“, tight followed by the tracks “Pandemonium“, “The Burning“, “Kingdom of Decay” and “Of Unsound Mind“.

Would I buy this album?
I think so, then it will be one of few bought death metal records in a few years for me.

Swedish Metal - Featured & Included - Black Metal & Death Metal
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