Dark Reality - _Oh Precious Haze Pervade the Pain_
(WitchHunt, 1997)
by: Brian Meloon (6 out of 10)
The description '11 delightful songs and pieces for singers, guitars, bass and drum machine, partly with historical woodwinds' appears on my copy of this disc, and perhaps sums it up best. Billed as 'baroque gothic art metal', this is a lot less metal than I was expecting. Actually, it isn't at all what I was expecting. It sounds alternately like folkish metal, (light) death metal, Simon and Garfunkel, rock remakes of baroque pieces (with up-tempo drum beats), and German/Scottish/Dutch drinking songs (somewhat like Moonspell's "Trebraruna"). There really isn't that much metal here, as a lot of it is acoustic guitars and flutes (all woodwinds sound like flutes to me). Most of the metal sections aren't very heavy, usually about the heaviness of Skyclad, who are about the only band to whom I can compare these guys. The production adds to this feeling, as while it's not bad, the guitar sound is thin and sounds faded in parts. With a stronger, sharper guitar tone, this could sound powerful and the contrast would be more effective. The playing can't be faulted, but there really isn't anything too difficult on here. I guess I'll give these guys credit for being original, since I can't say I've ever heard anything quite like it, but a lot of parts either simply don't work or are goofy, and even those that do aren't that impressive. Notwithstanding these problems, this has grown on me, and I'm enjoying it more than I did upon first listen.

(article published 7/6/1997)


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