Dark Empire - From Refuge To Ruin review
|Album:||From Refuge To Ruin|
|Release date:||March 2012|
01. A Plague In The Throne Room
02. Dreaming In Vengeance
03. The Crimson Portrait
04. Dark Seeds Of Depravity
05. From Refuge To Ruin
06. Lest Ye Be Judged
07. What Men Call Hatred
08. Black Hearts Demise
09. The Cleansing Fires
Gutteral growls, rasp-growl hybrids and roughened up clean singing - definitely not what you would expect in a power metal album. Unless you are psychic. Or you've been following Dark Empire for a while.
Well, I am both, but that's irrelevant. Anyway, the first sentence alone should have probably gotten you prepared for a particularly aggressive sounding power metal disc. Which is a good thing in my book. Dunno about you, but I am definitely annoyed at quite a lot of the more established big names in power metal turning towards a hard rock sound. *accusing glare at Gamma Ray, Freedom Call, Avantasia etc.* Instead of slowing down the music like the bands mentioned above, Dark Empire plays what some would call a US version of power metal that's closer to the sub-genre's speed metal roots that is closer to thrash. Then they push the envelope and further crank up the anger while maintaining a strong sense of melody with some pretty good choruses, which is held together by the varied vocals and some pretty dark sounding riff work. And no, it doesn't end here as there's plenty of progression in the song writing with flashes of technicality on display. Speaking of technicality, I have to highlight the solos are worth it. Of course, there are a gazillion albums that feature solos, and I'm sure you can just go listen to a Dream Theater album for that, but it just works nicely here in terms of adding value to the listening experience.
Are we in front of a perfect album? God no! For one, the aggressive factor, being its main selling point is also what would turn potential fans away as there are bound to be some who are accustomed to the more conventional European power metal sound who would find it rather hard to get into "From Refuge To Ruin". The title track itself also felt like it meandered around a bit too much to my liking. Yet at the end of the day, I would happily recommend this album to Nevermore fans, or those with balls looking for some cheese-free melodic metal.
||Written on 17.06.2012 by Ag Fox loves listening to music but is far from being a prolific writer. This corner just shows how territorial he is.|
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