Released: 2008, Self-released
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Dark/death metallers Chromatic Dark from the capital of Finnish metal, Oulu, have gathered their weapons together again and are ready to bash the world with their latest output, a 4-track demo titled HATEBALLADS 2008.
On OBSIDIOUS, the band´s 4-song demo that was released 2 years ago, these lads´ sort of early Dark Tranquillity/In Flames-tinged melo-death sounded appealing, having also some tiny elements from dark metal´s direction which added their own special vibe for their songs in a positive way. As far as HATEBALLADS with its 4 songs content-wise, is concerned, the songs keep on pushing its listener toward that appealing side again, having overall enough potentiality to arouse interest from labels as well. On HATEBALLADS the band has leaned heavily on their melo-death once again, and sailing a bit more away from those dark and murky waters that they had gallons of on their previous demo - the last track named "The Last One" being an exception. "The Last One" represents that style from Chromatic Dark where they seem to be at their very best in my opinion, and where they will hopefully direct a fair amount of interest to with their future efforts. Sorrowful, heavy, slow tempo-ish, melancholic, etc. - now get back on this right track of yours again, dudes!
For some reason or the other, this time the keyboard parts are unfortunately a bit out of place. Like in "Front Lines", they tend to sound nothing but irritating (starting somewhere from the 2:30 mark). Also, the production is also clearer on HATEBALLADS, but at the same time somehow a bit lighter than on their predecessor, which doesn´t necessarily support the band´s aim to sound mean and heavy enough just like they did on OBSIDIOUS demo.
Pretty good stuff from Chromatic Dark on their 2nd demo, but I still wanna put more hope on their next recording that could possibly bring some more of heaviness and dark elements back to their sound again. But we´ll see...