Darkest Era - _The Journey Through Damnation_
(Eyes Like Snow, 2008)
by: Nikola Shahpazov (5 out of 10)
It is never a good idea to neglect the cover artwork of your record. A sloppy, fantasy-theme drawing that looks like something a fourth grader elaborated on after watching "Conan the Barbarian" for the very first time just doesn't do the trick. Still, Darkest Era are a young band, so they'll learn from their mistakes. Hopefully.

Their debut EP leaves a lot to be desired. Quintessentially it's heavy metal (not exactly NWOBHM though) with slight hints of black metal (notable mainly in some guitar themes) plus understandable influences from the mighty Primordial and their local musical heritage. The first real complaint is the production and recording quality: the vocals are too low in the mix, almost as if the band and singer Dwayne Maguire performed two blocks away from each other. Besides that, these four tracks display enthusiasm and competent playing, but not impressive songwriting.

The epic feel that Darkest Era obviously intended to achieve is not quite there (mainly due to the inaudible vocals) and the songs are way too similar, plodding along with what seems to be the very same riff for twenty minutes. It is the occasional folk harmonies that breathe some life into the music -- the band has to concentrate more on them in order to deserve its "Celtic metal" tag.

Contact: http://www.myspace.com/darkestera

(article published 13/7/2008)

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