To paraphrase the beginning narration to one of my favorite horror anthology television series from the 1980s, “Tales from the Darkside”: synthwave lives in the neon-soaked world of what most believe to be the only genre, but there is unheard by many a genre straight from the underworld, a genre that is just as intense, but not as upbeat… a darksynth.
Imagine if you will the video game “DooM,” where the forces of hell merge with futuristic technology, but instead of an RPG they are armed with synthesizers. They are itching, crawling, and creeping into our world with one demon above the rest leading them toward our ultimate demise: Hexenkraft.
Releasing his newest album a day early, after an outcry from his acolytes, “The Infernal Schism” is another great battle cry from the forces of hell. Starting off with a kick down your door song in “Hellfire Assault Battalion,” it gets you pumped for what lies ahead, featuring some intense drums and guitar work as well as some familiar audio clips from the aforementioned “DooM”. It’s followed by “Technomagick Sacrament,” which due to it’s slowburn and brooding nature feels like a demon toying with it’s prey before grabbing you by the throat.
The next song is “The Infernal Schism,” the title track, and one of the singles from the album that was used to promote its release along with this video:
It’s certainly a much more electronic affair, but still leaves that demonic feel in the air, and I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention how much that video makes me wish a video game like that would become real. The next song, “A Flame in the Void,” is probably my favorite on the album due to it being a real showcase of talent; it masterfully intertwines a variety of sounds and feelings with some great solos.
We then end with “Diabolus ex Nihilo” which, while it translates to “Devil from Nothing,” this track is certainly something. With a nice nod to “Hellraiser,” the track proceeds to do just that, as the double bass pedal gets some work along side some really heavy guitar riffs and keys accompaniment. Overall, this album is fantastic, and just further solidifies Hexenkraft as one of the forefront leaders in the darksynth movement. If you’ve yet to take a walk on the dark side, now is the time to pledge your eternal soul, and join the ever growing darksynth army.