It's been some time, better than four years, since we've heard from Australia's Eyefear. Their label, Dockyard 1, is defunct; perhaps that had something to do with their silence. Now they're signed to Germany's Limb Music for a more stable relationship and the release of their fifth long-player The Inception of Darkness.
Perhaps 'inception' isn't the best word for this album; it should be more like the 'continuation' of darkness. Eyefear continues their pattern of dark and heavier power metal with some prog nuances. To make things even more grim, Be'Lakor vocalist George Kosma visits the split title track with his death vocals. Well, isn't that novel? It does seem to fire up lead vocalist Danny Cecati as he seems even more raw and screaming than ever before.
Straight from the start, with Redemption, Eyefear reminds you that they're a power metal band, just heavier. This thread remains constant throughout The Inception of Darkness to the point of making Eyefear more predictable than innovative. Even the two part title track can't rise above the simple heavier dark power metal, even with the tag team vocal arrangement of Kosma pitted against the more melodic Aussie singer Sarah Parker. The best glimpse of something novel, even progressive, comes with the bass and drum arrangement within Shadowdance: quite nice. Bonus tracks include instrumental orchestral versions of Eyes and Madness and the second part of the title track, Reborn. Mostly they sound like a soundtrack to a movie. Honestly, I preferred these two cuts over anything else on the album.
While following Eyefear's career with some interest, I'm not sure The Inception of Darkness is necessarily an advance in their musical adventure. It's simply more of the same. Conversely, I think their fans and fans of darker power metal will dig it and, to them, I certainly recommend it.