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DARK

Heavy Prog • United Kingdom


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Dark picture
Dark biography
Crafting a musical skeleton that has as much in common with British folk as it does with West Coast jam bands, DARK wouldn't be unlike a lot of other psychedelic bands in the late sixties/early seventies. What made them different was one thing: a solid understanding of fuzzy guitar. Rather than merely using the fuzzbox to show off, DARK incorporated it into the build of their songs, laying it across moody, heavy tracks that approached sprawling.
It all began in 1968, when guitarist Steve Giles grabbed other guitarist Martin Weaver, drummer Clive Thorneycroft and bassist Ronald Johnson, and formed Dark at a school in Northhampton. Local touring followed for several years, until, in 1972, the band only produced their first album, the not-quite-as-scary-as-you'd-think "Round the Edges" (occasionally featuring Colin Bush on bass. Go figure).

Only about sixty copies were issued, and original albums remain a collector's item to this day (it has been re-released several times since '72. Obviously, or else I wouldn't have heard it), and has been hailed as the UK's most expensive album. Soon after the album was released, the band broke up, and its members were scattered to the four winds (aka other bands and failed solo projects).

An effort was made at a revival in the early Nineties, which resulted in more local live shows; however, no new album was produced. Despite a couple of records of outtakes, the only true album by this intelligent jam band remains "Round the Edges".

The Whistler - February 2009

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DARK discography


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DARK top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.17 | 32 ratings
Round the Edges
1971
4.00 | 6 ratings
Teenage Angst (The Early Sessions)
1994

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DARK Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Round the Edges by DARK album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.17 | 32 ratings

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Round the Edges
Dark Heavy Prog

Review by Igor91

4 stars The obscure album by Dark, "Dark Round the Edges" has been both praised and maligned by critics over the years since it's very limited private pressing over 40 years ago. While not all that progressive, it does feature progressive moments, but a more accurate description would be a prog-leaning, 70's psych-rock band. When first listening to this album, the thing that stood out to me was the great sound of Steve Giles' guitar work. Dead Meadow must have had this album somewhere in their collection, for that is what came to mind as I listened. Fat, fuzzed-out, groovy guitar is present in many moments, paired with lighter, cleaner strumming at other times. The vocals are the main weakness here, not bad, but not that good either. However, the songs are well-crafted enough, and the occasional firey guitar stabs of second guitarist Martin Weaver make this album an enjoyable listen. If you are a serious prog-head you may not enjoy this one, but if you like early 70's heavy psych with prog leanings, this is right up your alley. 4 stars.
 Round the Edges by DARK album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.17 | 32 ratings

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Round the Edges
Dark Heavy Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

2 stars There was a time when all things obscure attracted my mind, due to the fact that albums were mysterious, hailing from the mists of time. There are alot of albums deserving a break, since they never made it in the past, but there are those I find that do serve a purpose of reference point. What do I mean? My point is that some bands made music of progressive nature and poured their ideas into the melting pot and thus created some sort of tapestry. All things may not be great but it can still serve a purpose of being interesting. The only album by Dark is such an example.

I bought "Round the edges" several years ago but the music printed into the CD was not all that great, I found. And still find. It is interesting as a moment in time but not groundbreaking. It is an obscurity whose main value lies in the strife of amateur musicians and the will to produce music. The progress of prog is an equally thrilling thing to examine as listening to all the truly great music of the genre.

The music of Dark is certainly sort of heavy. Do not expect it to be in Sabbath mode. Unfortunately a lot of people throw that comparison around when it comes to describing heavyness. It is true, however, that the music could be described as proto-metal, or something like that, but it has more of a jam feeling to it, a jam performed by less competent musicians than the guys in Sabbath. That however is not te reason as to why I find the music less interesting. The overall feel to the music is one of forced, that the music is really not all that thought through. It is a private pressing, so the sound and time spent on recording certainly contributes to the end result. One has to bear that in mind.

I would not really recommend this album to any one in particular. It is obscure and interesting as an image of a time long gone but it really is too amateurish, I think. That need not mean that the music lacks in true power or worth. In this case, however, it makes the end result poor. Not that good but interesting. Sort of.

Thanks to raff for the artist addition.

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