Just as a scandalous newspaper headline catches your eye almost immediately, the opening riff from the first track "Innocence Gone" puts a stranglehold on your ears right through until the atmospheric fade out on "Submission". Ripe with many influences from other well known Metal bands, DARKANE has turned the page so to speak and improved upon their previous efforts "Rusted Angel" and "Insanity" respectfully with the new album.
"Expanding Senses" is refreshingly engaging at all times for the duration unlike some albums that always have a lingering mediocre track buried somewhere in the middle that you just want to get up from whatever you were doing to skip it. "Expanding Senses" has no need of track skipping as every one is riddled with licks and riffs that demand headbanging. The odd time signatures between the various instruments (reminiscent of MESHUGGAH) also brought a new twist to an already effective song structure formula that DARKANE has had going for it since day one. The chemistry between the band shines through on tracks such as "Innocence Gone" and "Parasite Of The Unexplained" as they manage to keep things tight and together while the listener headbangs into a furious spasm because of the lack of a traditional riff to lock onto.
The production is also nothing to turn your nose up at as it is extremely well done with many speaker rotations that keep your mind's eye following from left to right not knowing where the next pounding riff or bass drum kick will strike. Andreas Sydow's vocals also lend themselves magnificently to "Expanding Senses" because his lighter yet firm and intelligible Death vocals are something that you won't see often from the genre of Swedish Melodic Death Metal.
Even if this review was not all that catchy, this album will be and any fans of Melodic Death Metal would be foolish to let this one slip by under the radar. DARKANE is one group that I will be eagerly anticipating their next disc as I can't get enough of their new sound. (Online January 23, 2004)