To paraphrase the beginning narration to one of my favorite horror anthology television series of all time, “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 a Cyberdemon armed with a rocket launcher they’re instead fully decked out with a synthesizer. They’re itching, crawling, and creeping into our world with one demon above the rest leading them toward our ultimate demise: Hexenkraft.
Releasing their 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 the form of “Hellfire Assault Battalion,” it gets you pumped for what lies ahead, featuring some familiar audio clips from the aforementioned “DooM”. It’s followed by “Technomagick Sacrament,” which due to its slowburn and brooding nature feels like a demon toying with it’s prey.
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:
I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention how much that video makes me wish a game like that would actually 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 fiery 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, sounding at times like a chainsaw through demon flesh. Overall, this album is fantastic, and just further solidifies Hexenkraft as one of the more underrated producers in the darksynth genre. If you’ve yet to join the dark side, now is the time to pledge your eternal soul. Infernal hails, indeed.