France's Darktribe makes their return to the power metal arena with their second effort, The Modern Age, now signed to Italy's Scarlet Records. It's basically a return to form for the band, generally a melodic metal foundation bumped up by power metal speed with some prog nuances thrown in.
In this sense, there's nothing new under the sun for Darktribe. Yet there's some subtleties worth mentioning. Whether by the mixture of riffs, some keyboards tossed in, or the vocal arrangements, the songs sound really busy, like there's too much going on. Maybe it's the swell of layers. Possibly it's an artificial sense of business, even technicality. My Last Odyssey, No Train To Earth, and Anthem For A Planet are just a few songs that give me this feeling. If anything, in this mixture, guitarist Loïc Manuello riffs and leads seem to be predominant element within the band in each song. The riffage is large and sharp throughout, which probably twists the "artificial business" towards the more natural wall of sound.
There's also a significant keyboard development within this album, mostly underneath and by accent. It seems larger than the previous album, but was three years ago and memory and my ears my be misleading me. You'll notice some of this at the beginning of My Last Odyssey or the middle of The Modern Age in a symphonic texture. But the latter could be merely guitar synths. Additionally, there's nice vocal harmonies, larger in arrangement, in some songs, like No Train To Earth (nice groove as well) and A Last Will, especially in the final moments.
In the end, The Modern Age left me with a conundrum: it's more of the same from Darktribe, yet seems to be an advancement for the band as well. Alternatively, though interesting enough for several spins to review, I'm not so sure it's remarkable enough to listen again in the future. You may feel differently.
The Modern Age is basically a return to form for Darktribe, generally a melodic metal foundation bumped up by power metal speed with some prog nuances thrown in.
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