Darzamat - _Oniriad_
(Avantgarde Music, 2003)
by: Jackie Smit (
If ever Andrew Lloyd Webber were to orchestrate a gothic metal opera, then Poland's Darzamat could surely be a likely result. Indeed, it's easy to imagine the maestro nodding in approval to tracks like "Into the Abyss of Forgotten Woods", "The Longest Journey" or the folksy "Elegy". Unfortunately, it's somewhat harder to see most metalheads walking mother earth in 2003 do the same. And it's certainly not due to lack of talent, as Darzamat display a sheen of admirable musical ability throughout the course of _Oniriad_ that's very hard to fault. The problem is that their brand of OTT pseudo-goth music seems permanently intent to run along the very thinnest dividing line between the grandiosely entertaining and overly bombastic. Which is precisely what ultimately leads to Darzamat's downfall. Despite being more than capable of producing fairly enjoyable tunes like "Where the Dreams Died" or "Beauty", the number of misfires on this album by far outnumber the hits, simply because the band constantly attempt to incorporate a showiness and eclecticism that never seems able to do them any favours.
(article published 5/31/2003)
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