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Darkstar - Marching Into Oblivion CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.64 | 13 ratings

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Prog Metal Team
3 stars After the demise of the great Psychotic Waltz, every output from the individual members was anticipated with an almost holy fire. Unfortunately, none of the projects came near to what they created under the banner of the original band. Devon Grave's Dead Soul Tribe was lacking greatly in the musical department, Dan Rock's side-project Darkstar missed emotive power.

The album is not without merit though. At least if we try to forget that looming presence of Psychotic Waltz that comes spooking here with every wailing guitar tone that Dan Rock bends and weaves into his typical liquid patterns. The two opening tracks are great instrumental metal tracks, featuring rich guitar textures, solos and lots of dark cinematic ambience. Also the keyboards play a prominent role. They add context and atmosphere and refrain from obtrusive soloing. As a reference, the way Faith No More incorporated new wave-styled keyboards into metal comes to mind.

By the time Darkstar gets going, it's impossible to ignore that this album suffers from a number of deficiencies. The first is the similar approach to each track. The band lacks the compositional skill and imagination to step out of the pattern that is carved by the opening tracks. Even if a track like Gateway is a beautiful atmospheric piece by itself, the album becomes a bit of a drag. A second point that brings it down is the repetitive tempo of all tracks. The drumming is not only too monotonous but also lacks the groove to make repetition into something entrancing. As a lover of progressive electronic I can totally dig a 30 minute continuous pace in music, but only if it has the ardor to make it entrancing. That effect is never obtained here.

Overall this is a competent and attractive album with a unique dark melodious sound. With more attention to rhythm and dynamics it could have been a 4 star.

Bonnek | 3/5 |


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