The Best Band in Hawaii is Darkest Path

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Who will it be?

It’s been a mild October here in Canada. As I enjoy the cool evening air and crack open my next beer, many thoughts flit through my mind. Thoughts like: Why am I drinking so much on a work night? What’s the point of cleaning up these bottles if I’m just going to make the same mess tomorrow night? And: What the hell do I even know about Hawaii?

The first two questions I answered with great ease (1: because beer is life, and 2: there isn’t one), but the key to solving the riddle of the third question eluded me. Sure, there are some things I do know about Hawaii: it’s a cluster of islands off the west coast of the United States of America; it became part of the USA when Ronald Regan arm wrestled Fidel Castro for keeps in a seedy dockside bar back in ’48; all Hawaiian women wear grass skirts and coconut bras; all Hawaiian men are badass Dothraki; the Hawaiian language is a crazy mess with vowels at the end of every word; the only instruments in Hawaii are ukeleles.

Well, I assumed that last fact was true — that is, until I heard Darkest Path. If Paul Karaffa, the mastermind behind Hawaii’s premier solo melodic black metal onslaught, was using ukeleles to record Apostasy of Man, I need to find the person who made such an instrument and immediately purchase all of them.

Seriously, Darkest Path grabbed me right off the bat by combining a melodic intellectuality with the brvtality of black and death metal. The harsh vocals call to mind the black metal/prog legend Ihsahn while the instruments blend together multiple styles of metal but retain accessability that immediately appeals to the listener. One of the album’s strongest features is Karaffa’s ability to vary the rhythms to create shifting moods and textures; the result is far from boring. The clean vocals, though sparse, are weak, and are the only real drawback to an otherwise very well written, powerful album packed full of killer riffs (“Purifying the Diseased” has got a stellar hook; a solid contender for the Toilet’s own Riff of the Week). However, I appreciate the talent that is so prominent on the album to such a degree that I’m willing to overlook what is a relatively small and infrequent flaw.

I’m spinning this album again, and each time I listen to it I find myself enjoying it more and more. There are tasty riffs galore, melodic atmosphere to suit even the most power-metal of individuals, and enough blackened death to keep the grvmmest of the grvm happy. Darkest Path’s ability to shift seamlessly through metal subgenres is their greatest strength, and with this album being as solid as it is, I’m very excited to see the development of Karaffa’s project. In the meantime, I’m going to play this excellent disk again.

However, I’m a mere chip dip, and you probably don’t trust the opinion of something that’s 75% avocado. I knew you were going to feel this way, so the illustrious and talented George W. Bush has graced the Toilet to support me. So there!

W.: “‘The Incorruptibles’ brings the riffs and provides an elemental backdrop to a pagan tale of forbidden desires and arcane rituals. What I really enjoy about this song is the clarity of the vocals that are accentuated by the riffs rather than combating the instruments for space. The spiraling leads at the end are a nice touch too. For such a sunny and cheerful land, Hawaii has certainly spawned a grim band in Darkest Path.”

Listen to “The Incorruptibles” here, like Darkest Path on Facebook, and purchase Apostasy of Man here. I highly recommend the full album!

 

HONORABLE MENTION:

Crucible – Headbang worthy, Sepultura-esque heavy metal! Listen to “Unshattered”


The Toilet ov Hell is on an absurd quest to find the best unsigned band in each state of this glorious union. The purpose? To shine the spotlight on bands that deserve more exposure. Also, we’re going to determine once and for all the greatest state in the nation. Each state winner is decided by a collection of 25 judges. After we’ve announced the winner of each state, we’re gonna throw them all in a winner-take-all bracket and leave the votes up to you. Who will be the best unsigned band in the United States? Which state is superior? We can’t wait to find out.

Previous winners:
Alabama — Phylum
Alaska — Terraform
Arizona – Take Over And Destroy
Arkansas – Torii
California – Destroy Judas
Colorado – The Sleer
Connecticut – Autumn’s Eyes
Delaware – Sloss
Florida – Capracide
Georgia – Lost Hours

  • Edward Meehan

    Good guacamole is incredible.

    • YourLogicIsFlushed

      I like the ones with a lil’ bit a spice to ’em.

    • Death

      I would live to taste it. Only if I weren’t allergic to avocados.

      • Edward Meehan

        I’m sorry for that.

        • Death

          I once tasted guacamole and let’s just say that I felt itchy. Fuck allergies.

          • M Shadows!

            Hai

          • Death

            Do you want to tell me something about a shark?

          • M Shadows!

            Why? do you want to clean one?

          • Death

            Hai means shark in our imaginary language. I thought you had something to say about sharks.

          • M Shadows!

            THEY ARE FISH

          • Death

            fascinating

          • M Shadows!

            Typical loofah, fascinated by the fact that a shark are fish!
            *drops mic*
            -M Shadows!

          • Death

            Sarcasm is not your thing?

          • M Shadows!

            Automated Response: M Shadows is currently unavailable seeing as the mic has been dropped. If you would like to leave a message you may do so after the greeting. Hai!

          • KJM

            THEY ARE NOT FISH.

          • Xan

            I’ve gotten pretty lucky with food allergies but I’m allergic to almost everything else. I can’t walk in grass without shoes on because I’m allergic to it. I am allergic to most seafood but I hate it anyone so it doesn’t affect me.

          • Death

            Pollen gives me the worst allergic reactions. I can’t go out in spring unless I buy really hard medication.

          • Cock ov Steele

            I bet ur allergy meds don’t go as hard as my allergy meds brah.

          • Death

            Don’t you say that bro!

          • Cock ov Steele

            Oh I’m saying it brohan!

          • Death

            You wanna have a tussle, brosef?

          • Cock ov Steele

            Are you challenging the brodozer? (rips off nerd clothes)

          • Death

            You don’t want to battle me. I’m the brozilla!

          • Cock ov Steele

            I was trained by Bronan!

          • Death

            I got training from Broba Fett!

          • Cock ov Steele

            I am a clone of Brobi Wan Kenobi!

          • Death

            BROOOOOOOOOO!

          • Xan

            In the spring, I have to wash off my windshield every morning because it is coated in a layer of dust that prohibits me from seeing. It’s like someone put yellow sand all over my window. Pollen kills me. I haven’t gotten sick in about ten years but I get the allergy assault every spring and fall.

          • take a benadryl, eat some guacamole. it’ll totes be worth it.

          • Death

            If you want me to choke, sure.

      • KJM

        Ack, too bad. It’s great in a burrito or taco.

        • Death

          Oh ye, rub it in my wounds.

          • KJM

            What of peanut allergies? Do you have those?

          • Death

            I actually just found out that I’m not allergic to nuts after all (don’t make that joke).

          • KJM

            Good. I’m a huge fan of peanut butter.

          • Death

            I love pistachios!

          • KJM

            Me too.

      • that’s a cvrse right there.

  • YourLogicIsFlushed

    I like this quite a bit, agree the vocals could be better but the riffs are tighter than a good pair of yoga pants.

  • Well done write-up Mistah Guacamole. I too have the same problem with beer bottles on the coffee table.

  • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

    At times those growl remind me strongly of later Cradle of Filth.
    Other than that Darkest Path properly grim.
    I don’t like Crucible’s vocals either.
    EDIT: Darkest Path is perhaps a little finer. A tough one this is

    • YourLogicIsFlushed

      This reads like a drunk guy trying to make a haiku.

      • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

        Are you saying I speak funny?

        • YourLogicIsFlushed

          Sometimes, but also you are way better at English than I will ever be at the other fictional language you speak, so I mean no offense.

          • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

            I never took none. (Offense that is)
            Joten ei se mitään, ystävä kallis.

          • YourLogicIsFlushed

            Damn google translate: “So it does not matter, a friend of expensive”

          • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

            Something along those lines. 😀

      • JWG

        Did someone say drunken haiku?

        Survival kit must
        Soysauce for mountaintop crash
        Dinner with pilot

      • more beer

        Drunken Haiku`s rule.

        • Guacamole Jim

          My friend wrote an excellent one while on the shitter:

          My ass is a lot
          Like the balrog of Morgoth
          Only less awesome

          • Cock ov Steele

            A million miles from nowhere,
            Dragon lance burns hot,
            In the fire of a horse’s ghost, a minnow would be lost,
            Cha-ch-ch-ch-changes.
            Mmmhm.

            Titts
            A fish
            A fish with tits
            Titty fish

  • Tyree

    You and I would be good drinking buddies Guacamole Jim. Never clean up your empty bottles and cans though for they are your trophies.

    • Guacamole Jim

      Hail!

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    incorruptible—-Hawaiian future-highest class—-a product of their landscape–
    unmolested paradise—brought to reality
    Hawaii will never die–and their rage will continue on and on—
    even when they play their death luau
    beyond filth based libtard slavery–
    high class power—and dreams
    beyond the “molestor psychology”–of the msm “reality grid”–of dumbassness
    the birth of true nourishment—non rotten banana psychology
    a dream and song—worth having
    in the universe—
    the metaphysical dynamic of world psychic armadeddon

    • “…beyond the “molestor psychology”–of the msm “reality grid”–of dumbassness…”

      FTW!!!!!

      GL

      • Edward Meehan

        ROTTEN BANANA PSYCH would be a solid name for a metal band.

        • Guacamole Jim

          They’d have to play exclusively lolbuttzcore.

    • Can I just say that my life would be empty without you?

    • Cock ov Steele

      “Death Luau” I like that

      • They would likely play Lulu at the Death Luau. Lolz for everyone!

        GL

    • Make a Disqus account so we can follow you.

  • JWG

    These do little to dispel my concern that Hawaiian metal, despite having a rich non-American musical tradition to tap just goes willingly along with aping the ‘mainland’ style.

    On the other hand, it means my concept for a “kī hōʻalu-meets-progressive death metal-meets-surf rock” project remains potentially unchallenged for originality.

    I’d better get to song-writing ASAP.

    • I love surf guitar. I support anything that gets more of it out there.

  • Cock ov Steele

    Having spent a considerable amount of time in Hawaii, I must say it’s a miracle there are people there who even like rock music. Either you’re a local that likes rap/reggae/IZ or a total whitey that likes rap/reggae/ IZ.

  • Further Down the Metal Hole

    The Darkest Path is a good path. Thanks for this.

  • that song’s excellence was matched only by the composition of this article! great write-up, @disqus_77PBSiK8Ug:disqus!

    • Guacamole Jim

      Thanks my friend!!

  • Paul Karaffa

    Dude. This is my project. Glad you enjoyed it so much! Thanks for the nice write-up. Sorry for the weak cleans. LOL. I’ll try better next time. I’ll throw this up on my page. Thanks again!