Thursday, 5 May 2011

DARKWATER - Where Stories End (CD)

After having been a big fan of progressive metal for many years with bands like Dream Theater, Symphony X, Mind’s Eye, Sun Caged etc, I kinda lost interest in the genre a couple of years ago. It started feeling a bit like bands were complicated just for the sake of it. I started lacking the melody and groove. Some CDs attracted me, but unfortunately not that many. I’ve slowly started getting back in the prog groove again and Darkwater, who now releases their second effort, is one of the bands that don’t overcomplicate things just because they can. The band also has a very strong singer in Henrik Båth, which sets them apart from some other bands (I’m one of the people who get incredibly tired of James LaBrie in the long run). Darkwater reminds me a bit of Swedish colleagues Andromeda, but where Andromeda took the hard and less melodic route on their latest album, Darkwater have produced a more accessible platter in “Where Stories End”. A lot of things happen in the songs, but it feels like they are there for a reason. The songs are also created for a singer to sing, not just a complex musical pattern where the singer has to go through hell and high water to find where he can fit some vocal melodies into strange brew. Thus this is not just music for musicians, but an album you can enjoy as a regular fan of melodic metal. A great bunch of musicians, all of them, none mentioned none forgotten. Strong and interesting song material, too makes this a really great album indeed. Fredrik Nordström, Studio Fredman, has previously proven his abilities as sound engineer with multiple bands, not forgetting his own creation Dream Evil. He does a mighty fine job here as well, creating a powerful sound landscape with massive guitars, yet not overpowering the keyboards and vocals. Highly recommended. Ok, this album was released in November last year, but it does deserve being reviewed. A good whiskey does not get old.
Janne Stark
Label: Ulterium
Year: 2010
Country: Sweden

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