Germany's Dark Sky morphs again with their fifth album Initium. The long running band makes a turn toward more melodic metal, even power metal, and away from some of their earlier hard rock AOR roots. Perhaps it's no coincidence that 'initium' is latin for 'beginning.'
But there's also little doubt that the AOR melodic rock background influences many of the songs here. Songs like The Rock, Shout It Out and the quite catchy You're Alive have a solid rock groove punch coursing through the arrangement. Put the two songs, Gethsemane, an instrumental, with the following I Swear, and Dark Sky develops into symphonic power metal. Then back to edgier hard rock on Shout It Out and an epic metal anthem on the closer, Eternity.
If you suspect a possible religious theme by the album art developed from the Leonard da Vinci painting, you would be correct. While I can't vouch for the integrity or orthodoxy of the Christian theme here, it seems to center around Jesus Christ's final days from the last passover to his resurrection. Specific subjects includes Judas Iscariot's possession by the devil to betray Jesus and his subsequent suicide by hanging; the Last Supper, in the song of the same name; the apostle Peter's denial of Christ (I Swear); and Christ's resurrection from the dead in You're Alive. Most often the music brings these lyrical themes alive.
I'll venture to conclude that this may be the best Dark Sky album to date. Between the attractive and entertaining music and the deft and deliberate handling of the lyrical themes, this is a very strong album, even a significant advancement for the band. Easily recommended.
Between the attractive and entertaining music and the deft and deliberate handling of the lyrical themes, Initium is a very strong album, even a significant advancement for the band. Easily recommended.