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The Dark Overlords - Darkpocalypse Award winner

The Dark Overlords
by Matt Bozenda at 15 June 2022, 9:48 PM

Usually, when a band is working overtime on their gimmick (keeping kayfabe, if you will), the reason tends to be to cover up the shortcomings heard in the actual music. The late great ODERUS URUNGUS himself often said this of GWAR’s legendary stage shows, which were devised to enhance their often simplistic (yet memorable) songwriting. And of course, sometimes a band just benefits from the gimmick after a while, and leaving it behind can have disastrous results; if you don’t believe this critic, consider “Lick It Up” and the requisite music video.

What happens, then, if a band’s gimmick, being properly deployed, is still overshadowed by the quality of their music? Do they need to hide behind alternate personae when they really have nothing to hide about? Is it a stroke of artistic separation? A contractual obligation? Are these fellas in witness protection? There are simply no answers when it comes to THE DARK OVERLORDS, whose member names, home location, and even band origins are a total mystery. The only thing we know for sure is that their second EP, “Darkpocalypse”, is a multi-faceted Black metal extravaganza.

Coming off at first a bit like DETHKLOK, the joke is quickly over when “Ritus Dæmonius” roars in with a wide variety of textures achieving a lot in only a few minutes before segueing into “Sacrificial Chamber”, an honest-to-goodness headbanger and clearly the EP’s gemstone.

“Soul Taker” then amps up the Black factor, but goes even further to display a massive amount of depth. This all pales in comparison to the finisher, “The Ladder Of Your Demise”, which stands as an excellent summary track but also does so much more, giving enough depth to drown in before a hauntingly moving acoustic outro does a proper job ending it, and even after six minutes it leaves the listener wanting more.

And perhaps in the not too distant future there will be more. THE DARK OVERLORDS spent over a year tinkering and refining from last year’s debut EP “I Am The Dark Overlords” to stunning impact. It doesn’t really feel like another fifteen months are needed, however; “Darkpocalypse” is so good it feels like all it needs is the second half.

So, if your eyes didn’t roll out of your head from the name or the other details, and you gritted your teeth and girded your loins and maybe even held your breath before you plunged into the depths of “Darkpocalypse”, then consider yourself rewarded. What THE DARK OVERLORDS have done is create a Melodic-augmented Black metal monster of cosmic consequence, and this is just the EP. A bare five tracks at a scant twenty minutes doesn’t usually make such lofty promises, but it sounds like when THE DARK OVERLORDS finally drop their first full-length, it’s one check that will definitely cash.

Musicianship: 9
Songwriting: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Darkpocalypse
2. Ritus Dæmonius
3. Sacrificial Chamber
4. Soul Taker
5. The Ladder Of Your Demise
Dark Overlord #1 - vocals
Dark Overlord #2 - guitars, bass
Dark Overlord #3 - drums
Record Label: Uprising! Records


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