Darkwater - Where Stories End review
|Album:||Where Stories End|
|Release date:||November 2010|
02. Why I Bleed
03. Into The Cold
04. A Fools Utopia
05. Queen Of The Night
06. In The Blink Of An Eye
07. Fields Of Sorrow
08. Without A Sound
09. Walls Of Deception
Swedish Darkwater return three years after releasing their impressive debut album Calling The Earth To Witness and going through an important line-up change. With the departure of former bassist and songwriter Karl Wassholm who wrote some of the best songs in their previous album, guitarist Sigfridsson assumed more songwriting duties. While Båth and Holmberg had been previously very involved in the songwriting process, that had not been the case with Sigfridsson who penned some of the lyrics for this album. This is a new element.
In what comes as a natural progression to their sound, Where Stories End shows a consistent, cohesive and uncompromising band. They seem to be getting closer to the darker side of progressive metal. There's a resemblance, certainly in terms of atmosphere, to early Evergrey albums. They are as heavy as they were before, delving a little bit deeper into the gloomy side of their music. This album is a grower.
All the songs are long, except the opening song "Breathe," and interesting. They hold up very nicely throughout. The choruses are quite beguiling. Båth's voice is a trademark by now as are the transitions from heavy riffs to more simplistic and mood-oriented musical breaks where the keyboard is the only accompaniment to the voice "solo," which is something they do very well. In fact, Båth's voice is something that is very prominent and immediately recognizable as distinctive. The progression from crunchy to melodic passages is inherited from the debut album and worked on as part of a structural, ever-present sound. In terms of artwork, it is more interesting on the inside, in the booklet, than the cover itself.
The beast of Where Stories End appears to be "In The Blink of An Eye," judging by its quality and inventiveness, placing itself among the best Darkwater songs. Darkwater also confirms on this album that their fountain of creativity did not dry after their first offering, albeit the changes that are taking place. Bearing in mind the songs on this album, there is less exploration of the different directions songs can take and more focusing on the development of the basic structure of the song that expands and is the driving force behind all of their musical efforts within that common thread.
Perhaps what might be lacking on the album and that which justifies the fact that it might not stand out as much as the previous one is that it could have been more adventurous in scope towards a more unknown and unchallenged musical territory. Ultimately, the album suffers from not having enough memorable moments and a certain closeness in particular moments to bands like Dream Theater (especially in the use of keyboards; the beginning of the song "Fields of Sorrow" being a prime example of that resemblance) and Evergrey. Having said that, Darkwater's contribution to the genre is still more positive than most of their counterparts' and, with only two albums released, they are already more talented than some new bands can ever hope to be.
I feel that the best from Darkwater is still to come as they seem to be on a path of growth. Let's just hope the story of the band will be the opposite of what the title claims and that this album is actually where new stories begin for Darkwater.
Highlights: "In The Blink of An Eye," "A Fool's Utopia," "Why I Bleed," "Into The Cold"
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