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Dark Light biography
Hailing from Bangalore, India, an experimental rock unit DARK LIGHT were founded as a brainchild of Anand PILAKKAR (keyboards), Mohammed UVAIS (guitars), Jose XAVIER (voices), Shakti PRASAD (drums, percussion), and Kailash SURESH (bass) back in 2013 fully inspired by Pink Floyd, Porcupine Tree, Pineapple Thief, U2, Opeth, Guns 'N' Roses, Radiohead, Led Zeppelin, Fourplay, Karnivool, Tool, or various pop / rock / progressive vanguards. In 2020 they've finally released their debut album "In Space And Time" with the current lineup - Jose XAVIER, Mohammed UVAIS, Anand PILAKKAT and Subir TELANG (drums, percussion).

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DARK LIGHT discography

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3.86 | 28 ratings
In Space And Time

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 In Space And Time by DARK LIGHT album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.86 | 28 ratings

In Space And Time
Dark Light Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Who could have predicted listening to this album that Dark Light hail from Bangalore India, as it sounds nothing remotely like visiting the Taj Mahal or watching a cricket test match with arch-rivals Pakistan? This impressive debut 32-minute EP has as a British modern prog sound as one could squeeze out of Anathema, Porcupine Tree or Pineapple Thief, a heady combination of Floydian soundscapes, melodic prog, some ambient passages as well as a contemporary alternative sound. Some may claim that there is nothing original on display here, but truth is that if that really is the case, the melodies better be beyond superlative, the singing hopefully convincing enough to avoid any further embarrassing commentary. I am proud to report that on those two fronts, I was impressed from the very get go. As one progresses towards the final track, the mood, atmosphere, and utter beauty of the melodic content seems to expand like a warm blanket of sonic comfort. All four tracks are constructed on well researched, carefully structured, and ear-catching choruses that sink deep into the very receptive nodes, due to Jose Xavier's flawless, accent less and ardently tortured voice, quite near Vince Cavanaugh (Anathema) in that he loves to hush and pant appropriately. Guitarist Mohammed Uvais has his Gilmourian fetish down pat when needed, while keyboardist And Pilakkat adds all kinds of synthesized ornamentations to the cinematographic depictions, both shine like diamonds on the 10-minute epic "Satellite".

"Planet Goodbye" serves to set the table as a perfect appetizer, illuminating the road ahead with the appropriate flair (flare?), rain drenched sonic effects introducing a sombre piano motif, as the sinuous voice clenches the microphone with a plea for some kind of liberation, a voice that can be a combination of Bryan Ferry, the afore mentioned Cavanaugh, Bruce Soord and Mark Hollis. Clanging guitar, ornate piano and an organic drum pulse keep the arrangement flowing towards an insistent main chorus that is utterly enchanting, sensitively charged, and impactful. Great opener, indeed.

The massive "Satellite" is as epic as can be, a typical Floydian like arrangement with a developing melody that packs a huge wallop, crowned by a celestial vocal that is off the charts, soaring high and mighty among the clouds, something one can sing along to without fear. A mid-section with jangly guitar flickers, voice effects, syncopated drum fills only serves to transition into a sleeker version of the arrangement, synthesized cascades in tow, a thrilling ride, finished off by a simmering Gilmourian solo, full of bent note beauty, sliding sexily along the fretboard like a devoted lover, extirpating every note as it was the very last one. A delicately thunderous achievement by all musicians.

The profoundly melancholic "Circles" has all the attributes to entrance any listener with its gorgeous theme, the spectral electronic mood is captivating and an emerging elevating chorus that is sheer genius, as Xavier soars to the highest elevations, supported by a corkscrew lead guitar that resonates beyond the stars. The way the hushed and delicate voice has also the ability to kick it up a few notches and hit some soaring heights with apparent ease is stunning.

Another highlight track is the final and the shortest one here, the culminating ecstasy of "Mountain Boy" is a joy to behold, an escalation of trilling guitar shreds, impassioned vocals that oozes class, then a transition into an upward trek of dizzying heights, bass pushing along the thrashing drums and insistent violin orchestrations

4.5 Shadowy Illuminations

 In Space And Time by DARK LIGHT album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.86 | 28 ratings

In Space And Time
Dark Light Crossover Prog

Review by tempest_77

2 stars I saw that this album was on the 2020 charts, so I decided to check it out, especially as it's coming from India, a country that doesn't have very many prog artists.

Unfortunately, I can't exactly say that I'm impressed with the album. First off, the production is pretty flat and uninspired; everything is compressed to an absurd degree, to the point that the "heavier" sections can't even really be referred to as such, as they kind of just sound mostly the same as the rest of it. The vocals are mixed very poorly; they kind of just sit by themselves on top of the mix instead of being incorporated into it. The mix is also very inconsistent?sometimes, the vocals are way too hot in front of everything else; sometimes, they just kind of sit in the back. The same goes for some of the instrumental sections; for example, the solo(s) at the end of "Circles" are inexplicably much louder than the rest of the mix.

The album's aesthetic and sound is also extremely derivative; it sounds like the generic amalgamation of every "atmospheric prog" album ever. The lyrics are mostly a bunch of basic abstract BS. Every synth pad used on the album is completely indistinct and relatively boring, and every song has the typical arpeggiated clean guitar parts with an absurd amount of delay slapped onto them.

This brings me to one of my biggest gripes about the album, which is the extremely lazy use of processing effects. It doesn't feel like the band actually tried to dial in specific sounds on any of the effects they used; the aforementioned delays drown many of the guitar parts out. Some of the most egregious instances of this happen on the song "Satellite", specifically the chorus effect on the chorus vocals (ironically) and the stereo tremolo on what I believe is the rhythm guitar around 5:45.

Really the album's only redeeming track is "Circles", which despite its mixing issues, at least has some feeling to it (though most of it gets murdered by the unbelievably compressed production), plus the closing solo is fairly decent, if way too loud.

All in all, this is really just a generic, poorly produced atmospheric prog album. 2/5.

 In Space And Time by DARK LIGHT album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.86 | 28 ratings

In Space And Time
Dark Light Crossover Prog

Review by bartymj

5 stars Prog rock with origins in India you say? Colour me intrigued. There's not a lot from the sub-continent that's found its way to this site. Once you take out the talents of Ananda Shankar and a handful of Tech Metal albums you're pretty much in single figures.

But Dark Light's debut album could well be one of the best of 2020, and not just in India. Depends what you like of course. Its full of dreamy soundscapes and Gilmour-esque guitar. A blend of Pink Floyd and Pineapple Thief is probably about right.

Jose Xavier's vocal style borders on the melancholy Thom Yorke style and to be honest he could probably sub in for Chris Martin of Coldplay - but don't let that put you off! It works brilliantly with the ethereal, dreamy soundscape created on each of the four tracks. All of which are worth a listen but for the most 'depth' and showcasing of the band's talents, have a listen to Satellite.

Right up my street this, can see why it might not appeal to others, but for me its just about creeps into five stars and is comfortably towards the top of my list of best albums of 2020.

Thanks to dAmOxT7942 for the artist addition.

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