About the album PERFECTLY CALM (2008)

Review at Crucial Blast

Filled with heartrending beautiful synthesizer melodies and awesome cosmic keys, this Bulgarian duo stand out bigtime with this stunning new album of blackened melodic doom that just came out recently from Ars Magna. Perfectly Calm belies it's title with crushing epic doom metal laced with those signature electronic elements that are a huge, huge part of their sound - the core sound of Darkflight is super slow, lumbering doom in the tradition of My Dying Bride, Thergothon, and Disembowelment, all massive crushing minor-key riffage and thunderous drumming drenched in reverb, and with harsh blackened growls soaring over top, the songs huge and epic sounding, every track filled with amazingly beautiful melodic soloing and soaring majestic melodies, ultra heavy and utterly filled with sorrow and longing.
All of that by itself would make this one of the better funeral/death doom albums that I've heard this year, no doubt about it, but with the fucking devestating keyboard melodies and sheets of spacey, heavily textured Tangerine Dream-style ambient synthesizers that swoop and blurt and fill almost every corner of this album, it immediately becomes one of my favorite albums of 2008, and quite possibly my fave doom album of the year. This music is so beautiful and spacey and insanely heavy, filled with not just those killer kosmiche synths and unbelievable melodies, but also swells of sorrowful violin strings, dark droning buzzsaw feedback, bleak folky acoustic interludes, and what even sound like huge brass fanfares buried down in the buzzing blackened guitars and thunderous slow-motion beats, bringing additional levels of epicness to the music. It's funereal New Age cosmic doom immersed in 70's style prog electronics, more melodic and beautiful than any other black/doom outfit in recent memory. Highly recommended!

 

Review at Vibrations Of Doom

What an amazing album! This, the followup to their 2002 release "Under The Shadow Of Fear" album was well worth the wait. The production, obviously, is much better this time around (though I didn't have a problem with the production on their last release), and it makes for some striking differences. First of all, the percussion is thunderous and gives a rather cavernous impression, while the guitars are mixed with the synths rather well. Lots of high ended guitar work, and some of the darkest instrumentation Ivo has recorded in his career. The pace is consistently doomy, and one slight comment is that the tracks rarely vary in tempo from start to finish. However, the mood and atmosphere DOES change, quite frequently, from song to song (and often within the framework of every song), so while on a tune like 'L'Ether Astral' you're hearing dark synths accompanied by light, almost etherial piano notes, you'll ALSO hear some dark and heavy guitar work, and believe me the high ended leads are a definite highlight of the album. There are no female vocals on this album AT ALL, so what you get vocal wise is very harsh and echoey black metal vocals, almost whispered like quality like from Agalloch, but much more resonant and booming. 'Dissolving Into Nothingness' is one of the highlights of the album, with some killer atmosphere, and rather rich synths that portray horn sounds and gives this tune that epic touch. 'Distant Pain' is most noteworthy for adding an ultra heavy and doomy atmosphere, yet to add melodic acoustical guitars and a change of emotions all in one song. 'Perfectly Calm,' the title track, obviously sounds rather contradictory from first listen, especially with the haunting instrumentation giving way to some melodic acoustical guitar work, guitar work that stays right with the synths all the way to the end. Epic, dark and sorrowful with a melodic and melancholic touch, Darkflight has made a masterpiece of doomy and atmospheric black metal. CD ender 'L'Ether Astral' is a 10 minute piece that has only instrumentation for the first almost 4 minutes, setting up a mood before the harsh vocals kick in, only to end the track with solo synth passages. Every note, every emotion on this disc will make you FEEL something, and it's all done to a rather slow, doom metal pace. HIGHLY recommended if you think harsh music can't invoke any emotional or melodic feelings. I sincerely hope this band gets much more attention than it's getting now. A highlight for 2008.
Stephen Cannon
98/100

Review at Aquarius Records

Yet another warehouse find, discovered a tiny handful of this, the last full length from one from Bulgarian blackened doom metallers Darkflight, whose sound is a killer mix of dirgey doom, soaring symphonic majesty, and haunting melodic ambience, the songs super dense and extremely heavy, but even at their heaviest, they ooze melancholy, the guitars unfurling melancholic melodies, and tangling up in minor key harmonies, while the riffs churn and the drums pound, all wreathed in soaring strings and swirling shimmer, with occasional acoustic guitar and brief stretches of hushed thrum. But for the most part, these tracks, trudge and lumber, super emotional and darkly moving doom-ed heaviness, that reminds us of Shape Of Despair or Skepticism, but often ends up sounding more like a doom metal Alcest or a more metal Nadja.
Aquarius Records

Review at Ethereal Soundscapes

Darkflight lands between heavily synths-influenced black metal, and melancholic doom. An album which genre is hard to describe, but for sure unusual, maybe unique. Tempos are usually very low, and raw production makes the sound even harsher, yet the stunning guitar and synths melodies successfully shine in the mix. Vocals are kept a step behind, with strong reverb, making some kind of voice from the underworld, all this merged with logic and consistance. However, the most intense part here is now how the sound is delivered, but how melancholy and beauty are spread through the eight songs. Needless to say that you have to love low tempos and ambient stuff here, with deep and sad emotions. Ready to take your first dark flight?
by Inari

Review at Metal Archives

Looking for some 2008's new metal releases from eastern-europe and checking in countries like Rumania, Bulgaria and Czech republic, nations that traditionally are owners of great black metal groups and in overall weird but good pagan and folk metal bands I found "Darkflight" and I thought that would be a good deal give it a check, after all I wasn't expecting anything special and the band's name it was very suggestive for me. DarkFlight is a project from Bulgaria leaded by the well known musician Ivo Iliev, metal-archives labels the band as Black/Doom Metal but the band embraces many different genres in its music: Epic, Symphonic, Ambiental and Depressive keeping the same vein of its previous release "Under the Shadow of Fear"and preserving the catchiness, depression and despair. The album for sure will be one of the betters album of the year. Perfectly calm starts off (first part) with a medieval-symphonic and melancholic touch that runs for trying to create an atmospheric passage which is easily accomplished, "Indifferent" shows the display of powerful soundscapes and slow vibe that will rise even more in the following tracks, a great opener that sets the vibe for the emotions, keep an eye the violins presence, voices and ambient, this is a song that may seem out there at first, but will grow on you over time. "Dissolving into Nothingness" (Second track), deserves a special mention, depression, emotion and despair running throught the violins, dense fog rising on the vocal work and despaired atmosphere, simply 7 perfect minutes of atmospheric black metal with an epic touch, indeed the highlight in the whole album and simply stunning??? "Distant Pain" keeps the same vein of the first two, even accoustic guitars are added to the background, the atmosphere provides a dense feeling and the symphonic touch appears again in the last part, the title track "Perfectly Calm" adds keyboards that sum up even more emotions to the whole album and here is when the Forgotten Tomb memories arrive, this track projects anguish and pain in to the minds of the listener and the distant and eerie keyboard does its work. After 4 eerie and atmospheric tracks "perfectly calm", turns in a more accoustic and even more ambiental album, "Yet here I stand" starts off with a very similar Alcest approach, being so varied, melodic, and versatile but soon the track take the way of the previous tracks, the desperate harsh vocals never ceases, and at this point the instrumental part has wider importance..., in the "Regard D'Outre Monde" the music is reminiscent once more to alcest and finally "L'Ether Astral" offers an atmospheric intro full of melodies, symphonic backgrounds and eerie sounds that complete the 8 anguish tracks and almost forces you to give it one more spin to the whole album. Depressive approach and symphonic/medieval touch. Powerful sound, distant atmospheric keyboards, melodic guitars and harsh vocals, dirty production but in overall a great album. if you like bands like "Fear of eternity", "Forest of Shadows" , "Forgotten Tomb" and "Alcest" then I recommend it strongly.
89% by InternalStruggle

Review at Elegia Eterna SPANISH

Para los que ya escucharon el fabuloso Demo de adelanto �Distant Pain� sepan que este nuevo disco no le escapa a ese continuo sonar epico. Fondo de batalla pero sin espadas, propio de la naturaleza por la naturaleza. Surgiendo en modo de elevacion dentro de los valles, empezando con cierto planeo visual por el sotobosque hasta sus mismas copas, para luego despegar aun mas alto a esas montanas que en primer momento hacian de horizonte cercano y cercado de dicho escenario. Espejos de aguas, mallines, pajaros y baldios. El amplio proscenio delante de nosotros. Perfectly Calm en todo su esplendor. De ahi a lo confuso que se hace todo al adentrar en lo brumoso de las nubes donde lo rectilineo e inmenso de un rayo solar choca sobre el rostro, fascinando las retinas hasta el fastidio y de seguido el desfallecimiento de existencia, solamente por ese metabolismo de existir y por tener el privilegio como espectador a semejante obra. O nunca escucharon decir al finalizar una obra �Ahora me puedo morir tranquilo! Lo terrible es que esa �catarsis� sucede desde el vamos, con la primera cancion, preparandonos a cierto dinamismo cargado de placer para las restantes siete canciones. Por suerte y para mi, las letras de este nuevo y segundo lp se alejan de lo fantastico Tolkiano de su primer disco por decirlo de alguna manera. Acercandose mas a algo asi como a poesias, que bien podrian ser parte �de las flores del mal� de un original Baudelaire. Sin dudarlo puedo decir que mi track favorito es la que hace de apertura �Indifferent� como dije antes por todo eso de cautivarme de primera, sin tener que someterme a varias escuchas para desterrar esos ocultos placeres que suelen esconder trabajos como estos. Y por lo pronto me genera nostalgia, y lo que voy a decir a continuacion no se debe a que alla en si muchos puntos de coincidencias, pero si se enmarca en ese sonido y me refiero a que estos Bulgaros nos demuestran como debe sonar un �A Wintersunset ...� o un �Dance Of December Souls� en estos tiempos que corren. Puede que esta ultima descripcion comparativa sea un atajo facilista para mi, pero como bandas de Black/Doom hay por doquier, y pocas son las que me terminan de convencer de verdad, o mejor dicho perdurar sin caer en el olvido, prefiero nombrar cuales iconos y que sea lo vertiginoso de un pasado reciente el que me lo demande. Y para ir terminando Darkflight logra con este nuevo disco superarse, por lo multiple de arreglos, el uso de buenas ideas ya preestablecidas, el masivo pero no abusivo uso de un teclado como a mi mas me gusta, el desgarro de una vos que provoca tiempos de angustias continuamente y lo mas importante de todo las punzantes melodias proyectadas por esas guitarras tan necesarias en este medio y atencion a ciertos momentos arpegiados ya que son los que terminan de dibujar el lugar (madera, hielo. agua, aire y tierra). Seguramente la ya nombrada �Indifferent� o la homonima �Perfectly Calm� o ese final con �L'Ether Astral� hagan en total del disco un himno en si.
by MauroR