Dark Age

Acedia

Written by: PP on 13/12/2009 00:41:39

Germany's Dark Age have been around since 1994, and "Acedia" is their sixth album, but I I've never heard anything by the band in the past nor even known their name prior to this release. Which leads me to believe that "Acedia" is the first album where the pieces of the puzzle finally fit together to complete the picture, because there's just no way a band that's able to write songs this catchy wouldn't have made an international name for themselves over the years. The album opener "Kingdom Nevercome" alone is the kind of song that makes bands famous, for I can't even remember the last time I would've heard as ultra catchy melodic death metal from anyone else than In Flames or Enter My Silence, where especially the latter shares a lot in common with Dark Age's sound.

The Germans' brand of melodeath leans much more on Fear Factory styled open-chord industrial nu-metal than the piercing metalcore leads of most modern melodeath bands. Except Dark Ages offer a much softer and an easily accessible window to the genre. The result is a cushioned sound that's almost radio friendly, thanks to the modern production and the extensive use of harmonic synths on the background. I wish more metal bands had production like this, and cancer like hip hop and RnB would simply cease to exist. Clean vocals are also used extensively during choruses to contrast growled vocals, which are also much softer than is the norm in the genre. A comparison to Machine Head wouldn't be entirely out of place. But this is also where bands like Five Finger Death Punch and Dead By April come to mind, because although the effect is milder, you can't escape the fact that many of Dark Age's songs sound somewhat formulaic.

That isn't such a problem though because of the monumental choruses offered by almost every song. The production pushes the guitars just enough to the background so they're still a major part of the sound, but there's no doubt that the focus of each song is on the chorus. This will obviously push many more 'metal' fans away, but at the same time, the 'kvlt' people are replaced by youngsters who are into heavy music but also want some easily-accessible melody as a part of their metal experience. A surprisingly solid effort overall, which is shadowed only by the fact that "Kingdom Nevercome" and "Devote Yourself To Nothing" are in a completely another league to the rest of the album.

7

Download: Kingdom Nevercome, Devote Yourself To Nothing
For the fans of: Enter My Silence, In Flames, Soilwork, Fear Factory, Machine Head
Listen: Myspace

Release date 13.11.2009
AFM Records

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