There's little doubt, Italy's Darking parties like it's 1985, when the New Wave of British Heavy Metal was affecting heavy metal worldwide. They return with their second album, Steal The Fire, now signed to Jolly Rogers Records.
This is classic heavy metal in the very best sense. Working from a foundation of a ambitious and sturdy rhythm section, Darking adds brisk and thick riffs, a strong sense of melody, and clean often forceful vocals, but without getting harsh or screamo.
The riffs and rhythm section have the ability to give Darking's sound an epic metal feeling, and this is without the use a second guitar or keyboards. While additional synths were a part of some traditional metal back in the day, Darking goes total old school for their sound by excluding them here. Also, with his strong presence and articulation, vocalist Mirko Miliani offers an additional, even large, dimension. Throw in some storytelling in the lyrical themes and that classic epic heavy metal feeling resonates even more. Overall, Darking moves by traditional heavy metal steadiness but, at times, they tip-toe close to doom metal side with it's slower pass. You might catch some of this within The Storyteller.
Casting aside some of my usual acidic comments, and not to diminish any musician, but I was uniquely impressed by Agostino Carpo's guitar work and Leonardo Freschi's drum skills. To the former Carpo, who formally worked with Italy's Domine, has an effortless style, even while his riffs and chords can be both sharp and heavy. His control is precise and steady. Although, in some places his fingers can go ape-shit crazy as within the bonus track Circle of Life; try to keep up. Freschi's drum work may described in the same way, steady and precise, yet he offers these flurries and inflections that add flavor to a song. Steal The Fire and I'm Legend present good examples.
Bottom line: Darking revisits the best of traditional heavy metal, making the old school relevant and uncompromising. It's the old school becoming the new school, as it were, in the very best and quite entertaining fashion. Recommended.
With Steal The Fire, Darking revisits the best of traditional heavy metal, making the old school relevant and uncompromising. It's the old school becoming the new school, as it were, in the very best and quite entertaining fashion.
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