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Dark Age - Dark Age (Reissue)

Dark Age
Dark Age (Reissue)
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 23 October 2017, 8:10 AM

L.A. California’s DARK AGE was formed in 1984. “Dark Age” the self-titled a EP here is actually a re-issue from No Remorse Records, and contains eight tracks. With the opening track, “Metal Axe,” you are immediately hit with an overly-treble production quality. The echoed vocals reach impossibly high notes at times, and the bass and guitar parts work well in unison as well as in contrast. It’s a hurried pace with a darkened sound as well. “Tales of Medusa” is a slower moving song at first where the vocals are a bit pitchy at times. The lead guitar work has a more prominent presences here. When it picks up in pace, it comes at you in full attack mode. Eike’s higher ranged shrieks remind me of King Diamond and Rob Halford.

“Rock Revelation” has some early QUEENSRYCHE feeling for me, from their debut EP days. This song really has a good vibe and some riffage that is meaty and suspenseful. Schumann really plays hard on the drum kit here as well. “The Execution” is just a quick into seguing into “Messenger to Ascheron.” Some of the twin guitar harmonies remind me of mid 80’s IRON MAIDEN. Those frighteningly high vocal screams could shatter glass. An extended instrumental section lets the song continue in a “jam” mode. When a riff is right, its right, and you just want to lay on it as long as you can. “Viper” is a track that seems to embody many of the influences mentioned above into a cohesive sound. It could be the best song on the album overall. A darkness is ever-present but you can hear clearly what they band is trying to impart here.

The title track, “Dark Age,” closes the album. I was wondering if we were going to get a softer, more introspective track, but that is only partly true here. They trade off passages that are slow and soft with heavier and more aggressive ones. The combination sounds strange at first but it just works the more that you listen to it. Overall I really found this to be an intriguing album. You can hear the classics in their songs but it’s always done with the band’s own stamp. Obviously, the vocals are the strongest element on the album but the instrumentation does not slump in comparison by any means. To me, it sounds most like what early QUEENSRYCHE was doing before they really began experimenting with Progressive music. Like the title, it’s dark, but artsy, and enjoyable. I would hope that the band would be able to continue and offer us some new music soon as well.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Memorability: 7
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Metal Axe
2. Tales of Medusa
3. Rock Revelation
4. The Execution
5. Messenger to Ascheron
6. Warrior
7. Viper
8. Dark Age
Eike Freese - Vocals, Guitars
Jörn Schubert - Lead Guitars
André Schumann - Drums
Martin Reichert - Electronics
Alex Henke - Bass
Record Label: No Remorse Records


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Edited 24 February 2020

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