Prime Eon Records
Words: Craig Hartranft
Fated To Burn marks the return of Darkology, one of the true treasures of the American heavy metal underground. The band features the Harris brothers, Harris brothers, Michael (Thought Chamber, Arch Rival, etc.) on guitar, Brian (Solstice, Firewind, etc.) on drums, bassist Mike Neal (Salems Lot, Black Widow) and the vocals of Kelly Sundown Carpenter (Beyond Twilight, Outworld.) Their brand of metal is both a confirmation and evolution, better maybe twist, of classic heavy power metal.
In one sense, this is fundamental stuff: riffage upon riffage, burning guitar solos, swiftness at times, always heavy, even raging. The twist comes from the arrangements and musicianship. Darkology will muddle with your brain be mixing up tempo and timing. And then offer killer musicianship to send it into enjoyable metal music chaos. Check out the latter half of the opening track of Kill Me If You Can. Michael Harris' guitar lines are positively rabid and slippery, bending genres. Another example is the Shadows of Oth where brother Brian's drums define rhythm and pace, leading the song. Brother Michael burns of another solo, sharp and ecstatic.
Another dimension you can add to both the band and the album is creepiness, the feeling of evil buried not so deep under the surface or the sense of the impending doom. Good examples come with Beyond The Grave and Festival Of Fear, each suitable for a heavy metal horror movie. Whether it's the pacing in the former or the lumbering monster-sized bottom end of both, it's probably mostly Carpenter's macabre intonations. Something between a mad scientist and a demon. You get this formula squared in The Nightmare King, a song almost entirely moved by it's dark and mysterious pace and timbre from bass and drums. Michael's guitar leads, fiery as they are, seem to take a back seat, coming in the later third. Yet, to be fair, the bonus track, the instrumental Your Hollow Soul, gives him room to stretch and display his immense talent. Fundamentally, Darkology's Fated To Burn is solid American heavy metal from a talented crew. If like your metal a bit dark, somewhat foreboding at times, yet still sharp and technical, you'll dig this album.
Darkology's Fated To Burn is solid American heavy metal from a talented crew. If like your metal a bit dark, somewhat foreboding at times, yet still sharp and technical, you'll dig this album.
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