DARK MILLENNIUM

Progressive Metal / Death Metal • Germany
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Dark Millennium was formed in 1989 by Theissen and Hesse. After the release of two demos 'The Apocryphal Wisdom' and 'Of Sceptre Their Ashes May Be' (featuring Torsten Gilsbach on vocals instead of Christian Mertens) they released their debut-LP 'Ashore the Celestial Burden' on Massacre records in 1992. It was well-received. The follow-up 'Diana Read Peace' with ex-Despair bassplayer Pachura was released in 1993. Dark Millennium then proceeded to disband.

Theissen changed his style completely after he went on to form 'Cherub'.

The music of the band mostly is based on slow, melancholic riffs, which even today are unreached.
Thanks to Time Signature, adg211288 for the updates

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Where Oceans CollideWhere Oceans Collide
C1X 2018
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$23.51 (used)
Midnight In The VoidMidnight In The Void
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Out Of The PastOut Of The Past
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Diana Read PeaceDiana Read Peace
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DARK MILLENNIUM Discography

DARK MILLENNIUM albums / top albums

DARK MILLENNIUM Ashore the Celestial Burden album cover 4.17 | 5 ratings
Ashore the Celestial Burden
Death Metal 1992
DARK MILLENNIUM Diana Read Peace album cover 3.72 | 5 ratings
Diana Read Peace
Progressive Metal 1993
DARK MILLENNIUM Midnight in the Void album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Midnight in the Void
Progressive Metal 2016
DARK MILLENNIUM Where Oceans Collide album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Where Oceans Collide
Progressive Metal 2018

DARK MILLENNIUM EPs & splits

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DARK MILLENNIUM demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

DARK MILLENNIUM The Apocryphal Wisdom album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
The Apocryphal Wisdom
Death Metal 1991
DARK MILLENNIUM Of Spectre Their Ashes May Be album cover 3.58 | 2 ratings
Of Spectre Their Ashes May Be
Death Metal 1992

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DARK MILLENNIUM Reviews

DARK MILLENNIUM Where Oceans Collide

Album · 2018 · Progressive Metal
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"Where Oceans Collide" is the 4th full-length studio album by German progressive metal act Dark Millennium. The album was released through Massacre Records in August 2018. It´s the successor to "Midnight in the Void" from 2016 and there´s been one lineup change since the predecessor as drummer Christoph Hesse has been replaced by Andre Schaltenberg. Dark Millennium formed in 1989 and initially disbanded in the mid-90s after releasing two demos and two full-length studio albums. They returned to the scene after 23 years and released "Midnight in the Void" in 2016.

"Midnight in the Void (2016)" was an independent release and it featured Dark Millennium shooting in many musical directions and although the quality of their output was generally high, the album was a bit inconsistent in style and also a bit too long for its own good (70 minutes long). It seems like the band have felt the same way about the album, as "Where Oceans Collide" is about 20 minutes shorter than its predecessor, and predominantly features shorter and more consistent in style tracks. The music style is progressive death/doom but Dark Millennium have their own distinct sound, and death/doom may not be the most correct label to put on their music, although some of the core elements of the band´s sound come from that style of music. There is one exception on the album, and that is the 11:44 minutes long closing track "Across Oceans of Souls", which is a classical music composition played on keyboards/piano.

Lead vocalist Christian Mertens has a raw snarling vocal style, which is quite intense and convincing, and the musicianship is generally on a high level on all posts. The sound production is professional and pretty well sounding too, so "Where Oceans Collide" is a good quality release on most parameters. The songwriting is consistent in quality, but it´s generally not a release featuring many standout tracks and upon conclusion "Where Oceans Collide" seldom reaches excellence although it is overall a decent release. A 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is warranted.

DARK MILLENNIUM Midnight in the Void

Album · 2016 · Progressive Metal
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"Midnight in the Void" is the 3rd full-length studio album by German progressive metal act Dark Millennium. The album was independently released in October 2016. It´s the successor to "Diana Read Peace" from 1993 and although there are 23 years between the two releases, there has only been one lineup change as bassist Klaus Pachura has been replaced by Gerold Kukulenz. Dark Millennium formed in 1989 and disbanded in the mid-90s after releasing two demos and two full-length studio albums. They started out playing death metal with doomy sections and occasionally progressive structures, but on "Diana Read Peace (1993)" there wasn´t many death metal elements left in the band´s music.

The death metal elements have returned on "Midnight in the Void", as lead vocalist Christian Mertens again treats the listener to his raw yet intelligible snarling vocals. He has the ability to sound both aggressive and desperate at the same time, and he is actually quite the unique singer. While he is probably the greatest asset here because of his incredible voice and delivery, he is unfortunately also the biggest downfall, because of the often badly written lyrics, which often border and sometimes enter cringe worthy territory. I hate to come down on him like this, being a second language English speaker myself, but I´m sure a little translation help/help understanding the English language could have made a major difference.

The instrumental part of the music is quite eclectic, and while there are atmospheric doom/death sections on the album, Dark Millennium are far from being a standard act in that genre. Some tracks are progressive in nature featuring adventurous song structures and odd musical ideas. The most obvious example is of course the 17:25 minutes long closing track "From a Thousand Years of Yore", but most tracks feature unconventional musical ideas. Take for example the funky guitars on "Dressed for Suicide", and you just know this is not your everyday doom/death metal album release.

"Midnight in the Void" features a powerful, detailed, and clear sounding production, which suits the material well, and upon conclusion "Midnight in the Void" is a welcome comeback for Dark Millennium. It´s an interesting release and features many great musical moments, but it´s not a perfect release, and there are less remarkable tracks and sections on the album too. At 70:21 minutes it´s also a bit too long for its own good, and my attention begins to wander at some points during the playing time. A 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is still deserved though and to the more musically adventurous listeners, they can probably add a half star to that rating.

DARK MILLENNIUM Diana Read Peace

Album · 1993 · Progressive Metal
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"Diana Read Peace" is the 2nd full-length studio album by German progressive metal act Dark Millennium. The album was released through Massacre Records in 1993. Dark Millennium was formed in 1989 and disbanded in the mid-90s after releasing two demos and two full-length studio albums. They started out playing death metal with doomy sections and occasionally progressive structures, but "Diana Read Peace" doesn´t feature much which indicate that Dark Millennium just the year before released the death metal oriented debut full-length studio album "Ashore the Celestial Burden (1992)".

Instead we´re treated to an adventurous and occasionally gothic take on progressive metal with a few nods towards thrash and doom metal. The atmosphere is dark, melancholic, and at times even alien, as if the band have visited places other people don´t dare to, and have found inspiration in that. Some tracks are not as complex as others, but there are some very progressive structured tracks on the album. The best example os probably the 9:45 minutes long "Brotherhood Sleep... Back to Treasureland".

The musicianship are on a high level, even though lead vocalist Christian Mertens is probably an aquired taste. He sometimes sound a bit out of tune, and his vocal lines are not that memorable and generally not very melodic. He sounds a bit strained when he does his more raw vocal parts too, and considering how strong his growling vocals were on the debut album, it´s a bit of a mystery why he would chose to sing in a vocal style like this on "Diana Read Peace". Development is almost always a positive, but in this case it´s a step down the quality ladder.

"Diana Read Peace" is a relatively well produced album, and as mentioned especially the instrumental part of the music is very well delivered, but the adventurous songwriting is sometimes a bit too adventurous for it´s own good, and sometimes it feels like Dark Millennium had a thousand individual ideas for each track, and some parts and transitions between parts therefore come off as disjointed from the rest of the track.

So upon conclusion "Diana Read Peace" is an album that leaves me a bit biased as I hail the adventurous nature of the album and the high level musicianship, but at the same time I have some issues with the vocals, and with the core songwriting (the album is also a bit too long featuring a playing time that exceeds the hour mark). "Diana Read Peace" therefore ends up falling in the catagory of being more interesting than actually good, but I´d still say a 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is warranted.

DARK MILLENNIUM Ashore the Celestial Burden

Album · 1992 · Death Metal
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"Ashore the Celestial Burden" is the debut full-length studio album by German death/doom metal act Dark Millennium. The album was released through Massacre Records in 1992. Dark Millennium was formed in 1989 and disbanded in the mid-90s after releasing two demos and two full-length studio albums. The years leading up to the release of "Ashore the Celestial Burden" were quite busy with both lineup changes and the release of the band´s two demos taking up Dark Millennium´s time. Lead vocalist Christian Mertens was out of the band for a couple of months and didn´t participate in the recording of the "Of Spectre Their Ashes May Be (1992)" demo, but he is present on "Ashore the Celestial Burden".

5 out of the 10 tracks on the album are re-recorded versions of tracks from the two demos. "Black Literature" was originally featured on the "The Apocryphal Wisdom (1991)" demo and "Below the Holy Fatherlands", "Spiritual", "Wizardry Assemblage" and "Medina's Spell" were originally featured on the "Of Spectre Their Ashes May Be (1992)" demo.

Stylistically the music on "Ashore the Celestial Burden" is a doomy type of death metal with occasional progressive leanings. Haunting and melancholic guitar leads, brick heavy doomy riffs and rhythms, and some very aggressive and snarling growling vocals on top. But that´s not all, because this is not solely a doom/death metal album and there are usually several tempo changes in the tracks and the band often play mid-paced (and occasionally slightly faster) old school death metal parts, which adds to the brutality of the music. When they do that they remind me slightly of their fellow countrymen in Morgoth. Dark Millennium also bring progressive ideas and song structures to the table and to my ears a track like "Beyond the Dragon's Eye" is a fully fledged progressive death metal track. The tasteful and clever use of acoustic guitars and piano on that track works really well. The addition of clean vocals sung by Gerhard Magin, also make that particular track stand out.

The musicianship are obviously on a high level and "Ashore the Celestial Burden" is also packed in a raw and suitingly dark sound production. It could have been slightly more powerful and well sounding, but it´s a minor issue, and it´s pretty great as it is.

While I mention progressive ideas and structures above, "Ashore the Celestial Burden" is an album where Dark Millennium successfully balance death metal brutality, doomy melancholy, and progressive sophistication. Which means that the progressive ideas never come in the way of the death metal brutality or the doomy melancholy and visa versa. And along with the skilled delivery of the music, the decent sound production, and the adventurous songwriting, that´s probably the album´s greatest strength. A 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved.

DARK MILLENNIUM Of Spectre Their Ashes May Be

Demo · 1992 · Death Metal
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"Of Spectre Their Ashes May Be" is the 2nd demo release by German death metal act Dark Millennium. The demo was independently released on cassette tape in March 1992. Dark Millennium was formed in 1989 and disbanded in the mid-90s after releasing two demos and two full-length studio albums. Quite a few lineup changes have taken place since the release of "The Apocryphal Wisdom (1991)" as Torsten Gilsbach has replaced original lead vocalist Christian Mertens, bassist Markus Gabriel has been replaced by Jörg Dinstühler, and finally Michael Burmann has been added to the lineup as the band´s second guitarist. So only drummer Christoph Hesse and guitarist Hilton Theissen remain from the original lineup. Christian Mertens would however return to the fold later in the year for the recording of the band´s debut album "Ashore the Celestial Burden (1992)".

The many lineup changes haven´t affected the music too much though. It´s slightly more doomy than the case was on "The Apocryphal Wisdom (1991)" and the vocals are more deeper growling, but the infectious aggression and relatively technical and adventurous approach to playing old school death metal is still intact. The sound production is raw and brutal and initially I felt the quality of the recording had dropped a bit since "The Apocryphal Wisdom (1991)", which featured a near semi-professional sound production, but upon repeated listens I realise this more raw sound production suits the music perfectly.

In addition to the high quality songwriting featured on the demo, the musicianship is a great asset too. Drummer Christoph Hesse again stands out as a rather different extreme metal drummer with a subtle drumming style and new lead vocalist Torsten Gilsbach proves to be a great replacement for Christian Mertens (although his tenure would be brief).

Dark Millennium were an ever changing act in their relatively short existence, but "Of Spectre Their Ashes May Be" pretty much stay in the same territory as "The Apocryphal Wisdom (1991)", although it´s overall a bit harsher. Quality wise it´s not as such a step up from "The Apocryphal Wisdom (1991)", but it´s definitely equal in quality and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

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