DarkBlack – Midnight Wraith …   Leave a comment

Ok why I am reviewing this, well someone told me they sound a touch like early Trouble, seems I was duped because apart from a slight similarity in the vocals to Eric Wagner, there is no doom metal on this at all. Darkblack play the kind of heavy-metal you old-man might have listened to – traditional power-metal, N.W.O.B.H.M kind of stuff. Basically this is Iron Maiden meets Lizzy and that sound is so obvious, you can’t compare them with anyone else really. The band are good players, Tim Smith is an incredible bass player/vocalist and guitarists Anthony Crocamo and Rob McConlogue lay down some nice leads but the riffs and songs just don’t cut it for me. The EP opens with “Doom Herald” and 2 minutes in, I am already thinking about listening to some early Maiden, why listen to a copy when you can have the real thing, right ? Next tune, “Power Monger” more or less repeats the formula left from the opening number but with a bit more grit and dirt. “Golden Idol” sounds like another galloping Maiden tune but with Thin Lizzy inspired guitar work coming from the axe-duo. This is the peak of the EP for me, a nasty little metal tune but 3 tracks in they seem to be repeating a formula AC/DC style.

The title track is the most metallic and the most heavy overall so will most likely appeal to the readers of Doommantia than anything else on “Midnight Wraith.” The EP really falls apart on the last track “Broken Oath,” it is not that it is bad but it just so predictable. When the last track begins, the EP is less than 20 minutes old and I always get the feeling I have been listening to this band for an hour as everything just sounds all the same. One of the other problems is the thin production and it is true, the metal records of the early 80’s were also thin-sounding recordings when you listen to them now but in the case of Darkblack, this nostalgic production only makes this a even more lack-luster affair. Luckily as musicians, the band are awesome so they deserve to be doing something better than this. You can play old-school HM but you need to make it interesting and have a thick enough production for it not to sound weak next to other modern-day releases. Listen to Sinister Realm for example, they have a total old-school approach to writing and playing but their recordings sound huge. Darkblack would have slayed them back in 1981 but now this just sounds too much like recycling a style of the past without any modern balls to the songs and sound. Still some old-school metal fans will appreciate this EP………….5/10
DarkBlack @ MySpace
Stormspell Records

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Posted January 26, 2011 by doommantia in Darkblack

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