Saturday, November 20, 2010

DarkBlack-Midnight Wraith


Oregon's power trio DarkBlack have been knocking around for six years and have released a full length album and their latest EP "Midnight Wraith' is the second EP they have done to date. I was listening to a couple of semi-obscure, self-produced metal albums from the mid-80's directly before DarkBlack a spin. What struck me as odd was that those twenty-five year albums had better production than the new DarkBlack. This might actually be an intentional result because this act tries very hard to look and sound like it's 1985 all over again. The major influences are Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Diamond Head and various other NWOBHM bands. Being a huge fan of the original go-around of this style I am interested in anyone who tries to revive the style too. The problem with imitating a style so closely is that if you add little of you ideas then it just tends to be a pale imitation. In this case DarkBlack are hit and miss although leaning slightly towards the positive part of that spectrum. The riffs range from chunky and galloping to just gliding along. The rhythm section fares a little better with more varied beats than we often get from this style. The vocals are alright, but robbed of some real power by the low production. Both on my computer and car stereo I have to really adjust the sound to hear the vocals like I wanted to. Fans of mid-80's classic and NWOBHM will likely be pleased by this retro-loving, bullet belt wearing type of metal. For myself I feel like there are better bands out there doing this style.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with having to turn up the volume to hear the vocals better. I'm rooting for DarkBlack to make it... they kinda tugged on my Traditional Metal strings of ideals and invoked some cool memories of years ago.

Excellent review.

- Stone

3:08 PM  

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