Darkspace's debut album. You know what was lacking from their debut EP 'Dark Space -I'? More songs. You know what this album gives you? Seven songs. 6 out of 7 of these songs exceed ten minutes in length. 'Dark Space I' is my favorite Darkspace album and probably will stay that way for some time.
"Dark 1.1" kicks off the numeric legacy. With all their songs numbered, the musical texture to this song makes it the obvious choice to put at the beginning of their numeric sequence. It starts out with scary dark ambient until the 2:02 mark where the audio sample tolls and then... BLAST-OFF!!!!! We launch off into the blast-beats, fast riffs, and other-worldly aesthetics that make Darkspace so great. 2:52 slows it down, putting some nice variation in this journey. This then gives way to chugging at 3:15. The keyboards introduce themselves for the first time (in the black metal portion of this song) giving the feeling that I've finally left the Earth's atmosphere. There's more variations to be found throughout this song before returning to top speed at 5:06. And even then, the keyboards and lead guitar make this instance sound different than the beginning black metal part of this song. Another interesting variation is at the 5:58 mark. The song slows down, the programmed drums go into a double-bass storm, and the lead guitar shows itself off. The double-bass stops and the lead guitar is replaced by keyboards before the song finally ends with one of the variations that was shown earlier in the song.
Now that we're a considerable distance away from Earth, let's go to Jupiter. "Dark 1.2" is one of my favorite Darkspace pieces ever. It begins nice and slow with heavy emphasis on the keyboard. True to my decision to go to Jupiter, we have a famous audio sample from 2001: A Space Odyssey. The people on Discovery One take a journey to Jupiter and we're following their footsteps. Speeding up finally at 3:40, I feel like I'm chasing after the black monolith like the people in 2001 were. Drums pick up slightly faster at 5:35, then slow at 6:15. During the variations here, I continue to feel like I'm re-living the experiences of 2001: A Space Odyssey by trying to outsmart a super computer. At the 8 minute mark, I feel like I'm finally shutting down the HAL computer. The song's ultimate climax is in its outro, which begins at 9:33. The song slows down and the guitars break into chugging. Keyboards get more and more prominent here. Visually, this is where in 2001: A Space Odyssey where Dave goes "beyond the infinite". The drums finally stop as the song ends leaving the guitars and keyboards to fade out on a single note.
Onward to "Dark 1.3". No ambient intro to start things off this time. All instruments are going at full speed here right from the get-go. It's just at 1:24 when the song slows down and breaks into chugs. A Darkspace chugging groove goes on for a short period of time until 2:05 where we go to ludicrous speed. One of the guitars takes a nice flying lead here for a short bit before the key changes and the lead guitar is once again replaced by keyboard. Slowing down slightly at 4:34, but still maintaining quite a bit of speed, I finally get the visual in my head. The ship I'm in is now dodging asteroids. If even the smallest rock strikes my ship, it will tear a hole right through the hull. But the variation of size of the asteroids seems to coincide with the variation of the song here, and there's quite a lot of it. Finally flying at full speed, we go until 9:34 with the sound of crashing. I obviously did not survive the asteroid field. Oh well. Not all stories have happy endings.
Since there's still five more songs, we'll go with the ALTERNATE ENDING: yes I did make it out of the asteroids and that crashing sound was just me crashing down on an alien planet.
My visual with "Dark 1.4" deals with the local wildlife of this alien world while trying to repair my ship. That sounds a little kooky, but 1): we're dealing with Darkspace here, 2): it's my visual; get your own, and 3): the song starts off immediately with chugging giving me an immediate description of these beasts. They are definitely taller than the average man and have big hands to manipulate (or smash) things with. And I must switch between rushing to repair my ship and defending my ship (and myself) from being crushed by these giants. After the chugs end, there's fast paced playing. It slows down again at 3:55. Starting at 4:15, the bass drum sounds really techno-esque which adds some neat creativity. The song grows quieter 4:44 with the lead guitar soon coming in to start tremoloing. The song takes a supremely epic turn at 5:39. I thought I heard some timpani drums in the mix near the beginning of this song, but that might have been just me. Eventually with the song slowing down, I make my escape from this hostile world and back into space to see what other adventures I can find.
Next is "Dark 1.5", the longest song on the album at 13 minutes and 37 seconds (I'm 1337, n00b!). It begins with some more sorrowful sounding passages before finally getting up to speed at 1:19. The vocal passages sound pretty creeping in this song. A noticeable variation is when the guitars change to semi-chugging speed at 4:18 and slow down to full chugs at 4:39. The keyboard gets really grandeur at this point, painting my next visual: exploring the satellite planets of the outer few worlds. At 5:34 where all the riffing stops, then we're back up to speed. In this song, we see not just an interesting variation of passages, but also an interesting variation of key. Slowing down at 8:34, there's haunting ambient noise and regular beats from the techno style bass pedal. The lead guitar comes out to play before the guitars return to chugging. Then it pauses before proceeding to the end of the song in the chugging.
Do you all know how cold Triton is? It is believed to be pretty damn cold. Scientists believe that a temperature of zero kelvin (aka absolute zero) can be achieved naturally there. It's the coldest place in the solar system, and it's the starting visual thanks to the cold ambiance at the beginning of "Dark 1.6". We don't stay there for too long though. After leaving that moon, I take my ship and do battle against Neptune's fierce winds just to see what it's like in the atmosphere of a gas giant. By that, I mean the blast-beats take the song into a frenzy at 2:08. This is one of Darkspace's fastest points and fits the violent windstorms of Neptune perfectly. They tone it down with a pause before starting the windstorm again. The guitars really soar at the 3:41 mark, lead and rhythm. Then the slow down at 5:47 with haunting, sorrowful lead guitar. Speed up and triplet-note chugs at 6:27. Then a steady mid-paced tone at 7:07? Yet another interesting variation. The ripping blasts come back at 7:35. We escape Neptune on one last ambient key and proceed onward to our final destination.
"Dark 1.7"'s disturbing sounding lead chords at the beginning are the start of the end of this awesome trip. With nothing left of interest to see in our own solar system, I set my ship's coordinates to an outer place. Keyboards illustrate the nebulae that I may encounter, while the fast tempo illustrates another breaking condition: the sense of loneliness. I begin going insane at the idea that I will never see anyone ever again. Meanwhile, I have little food. This is an awesome song to end with, because instead of being an ending to this visual tale, it's the gateway to a continuation of the space theme that Darkspace portrays. The song ends with a fade out, which to me feels like finding comfort in cryogenic slumber.
Ladies and gentlemen, there is definitely more to Darkspace than just the music. I have been able to paint a very detailed mental storyboard with the music here. This type of awesome abstract feeling is why black metal albums like this one are at the top of the class of black metal and sometimes even metal as a whole. If you love black metal, you'll want to listen to this album. If you love black metal and have a creative mind, you'll REALLY want to listen to this album. You'll be very, very, very, very glad you did.