ALBUM REVIEW: Darkplace – About the End of the World 


There are a few artists in history whose identity is shrouded in secrecy – The Residents, Buckethead, the majority of Goat and Darkplace. In an age where social media is so prevalent and where privacy is seemingly such a dirty word, it’s refreshing that Darkplace has chosen to keep himself/herself(?) anonymous so as to let the music do the talking. Based in Sweden About the End of the World (Icons Creating Evil Art) marks the mysterious entity’s debut full-length.

According to the promotional notes accompanying the release, the concept behind the record is “centered around a grim future, or perhaps present, where the world is depicted through digital paintings in the accompanying music videos”. It is inspired by the landscape of Västerort (West Stockholm), presumably where Darkplace resides. Intrigued? Let’s dig in a little further…


“Prelude (Alarm)” is a pulsating slab of Electro-Rock meets Synth-Pop, albeit a little darker, or to put it another way, OMD/Jean Michel Jarre gone Goth. A fantastic opener. “Save Them All” features solid metronomic drumming recalling Joy Division‘s Stephen Morris and a surprisingly anthemic chorus. If, like me, you are a fan of Sacred Bones two fantastic Killed By Deathrock compilations then you may get a kick out of this. Second single “Fearmonger (Skrackmakare)” has shades of icy cold Black Metal but more in terms of atmosphere than speed with a Goth club vibe that proves infectiously catchy. 

“Cars” curiously reminds of The Killers, and there is no denying the 2000a New Wave revival tendencies delivered in an emotive and interesting way here. “Arken Over Hesselby” (The Ark Over Hesselby) is pure atmospheric Darkwave with some lovely post-shoegaze style drones and “This is Loud is glorious eighties post-punk goodness. “Intermezzo” has some beautiful and elegant post-Rock textures, while “Split” the shortest track on the album at just over a minute has you thinking of bands like Grave Pleasures and False Figure, being largely bass driven. 


“No Escaping This” tonally hints at menacing Black Metal with a cyclical riff that increases the sense of claustrophobia. From there you have the album’s longest track “The End”, a type of shimmering synthwave that you’d find in films such as Nicholas Winding Refn‘s classic The Neon Demon, as well as Slowdive whenever they venture into electronica: asuperb piece and a personal favourite. “Das Leben Hat Ein Ende” (Life has an End) is the fastest Darkplace have sounded on the album, with some fast tremolo picking that hints at the project’s aforementioned blackened influences. “Call Your Neighbours” initially recalled nasal-voiced Placebo frontman Brian Molko, and is an upbeat and fun conclusion to the album. 


This is a pretty decent listen which will appeal mainly to fans of Darkwave and post-Punk. If there are any criticisms to be levelled, its that some of the tracks felt a little incomplete and could have done with fleshing out a lot more. That said, this is a promising first effort and one to watch for in the future. 

Buy the album here:


7 / 10