Dark Sanctuary - _Exaudi Vocem Meam - Part I_
(Avantgarde / Wounded Love, 2005)
by: Pedro Azevedo (7.5 out of 10)
For some reason, this French sextet has stayed below my radar for the last six or seven years. Their latest effort, the first half of their _Exaudi Vocem Meam_ two-album project, has shown me the error I may well have committed in overlooking this band for so long. Dark Sanctuary describe themselves as a band who create "dark atmospheric" music. While this may not be as outstanding as, for instance, Elend's recent efforts, it is nonetheless worth considering outside that frame of reference, for its purpose appears to be different. A much more linear, tranquil and melodic album, part one of _Exaudi Vocem Meam_ is an acoustic record, with some percussion, a lot of guitar, violin and piano, and plenty of angelic female singing. (The third track, "Dein Kalter Stein", features Schwadorf of Empyrium, Sun of the Sleepless and The Vision Bleak fame on vocals, but that is almost the only male vocal performance on the album.)

A silky smooth album, delicate to the point of fragility at times, _Exaudi Vocem Meam - Part I_ can just as easily profit from that unstable balance as it can occasionally become long-winded and falter somewhat. It requires a certain disposition in order to be fully enjoyed -- I'll stay away from the cold night outside, candle-lit room cliché here -- and while in those circumstances it can work really well, it can otherwise lose the listener much more easily. If tragic, darkly romantic atmospheric music, artists such as Elend or Autumn Tears (or to a lesser extent My Dying Bride's non-metal tracks) pique your interest, then this record should be a very worthwhile addition to your collection.

Contact: http://www.dark-sanctuary.com

(article published 17/12/2005)

1/12/2007 P Azevedo 7 Dark Sanctuary - Exaudi Vocem Meam - Part II
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