Immediately after completing the recording of “By the Light of Their Destruction,” released in 2019, Chuck Keller, the brilliant guitarist and compositional mastermind behind Ares Kingdom, began writing material for another album. He spent the next year working on a body of songs that he intended as a companion to “By the Light of Their Destruction,” viewing the new material as an extension of the preceding work. Entitled “In Darkness at Last,” the band’s fifth full-length is inarguably their most aggressive recording to date.
Still operating as a trio consisting of Keller, drummer Mike Miller (Order From Chaos), and bassist/vocalist Alex Blume (Nepenthe, Blasphemic Cruelty, Perdition Temple), Ares Kingdom continue to refine, polish, and sharpen their sound—a caustic assault of precision deathrash. Every track on “In Darkness at Last” evokes the majesty of violence and the entropic preeminence of decay as Keller’s guitar rides triumphant upon the chariot of Miller’s drumming, drawn by the furious power of Blume’s bass. Indeed, there are few bands in the underground whose degree of musicianship rivals that of Ares Kingdom. One can hear the intuitive chemistry between the band members, crystalized from decades of playing and performing together.