This album has been sitting on my 'to be reviewed' stack for quite some time now. I wasn't ignoring it by any means. I'm the main reviewer at dangerdog.com; frankly, I'm the only reviewer! So sometimes it takes me awhile to get to things. And, as usual, I'm incredibly impressed by the music that 'waits' for my listening ears. Darkwater's first full length release 'Calling The Earth To Witness' is fine melodic progressive metal. This work was recorded and mixed in Fall 2006 and thanks to a deal with Ulterium Records, it saw the light of day at the end of August 2007. Good things happen to those who are patient. Darkwater should be proud of their first work.
'Calling The Earth To Witness' is classic melodic progressive metal in the same category as Dream Theater, Symphony X (without an overbearing heaviness), and Scandinavian peers, Evergrey (without the omnipresent darkness). Much of the music is driven by the very stylish keyboard work from Magnus Holmberg; actually I would say his contribution is sterling. Also, another outstanding feature is the smooth and compelling vocals of Henrik Båth. In some ways he reminds me of Kahn of Kamelot, emotional and direct. The rest of Darkwater are very good as well: this includes Tobias Enbert (Drums) Markus Sigfridsson (Guitars), and Karl Wassholm (Bass).
I was pleased with many songs on this album including 'All Eyes On You,' 'Habitat,' and 'In My Dreams.' The arrangements are clever and varied from song to song making 'Calling The Earth To Witness' surprisingly fresh and hardly monotonous. 'Habitat' is a significant example of fine composition and musicianship by all concerned. Clocking at over 12 minutes, it does not disappoint and keeps you engaged. 'The Play' and 'The Play II' continue this sublime and reasonable creativity. A fine piece of melodic metal.
For a first work, Darkwater's 'Calling The Earth To Witness' is a dramatic and significant accomplishment for such a young band. I foresee great things ahead for Darkwater and look forward to their sophomore release (hopefully soon!). In the end, fans of melodic metal should love this album. I did. Highly recommended.
Sweden's Darkwater has the progressive metal genre nailed. This is a very good first effort from this young band. There's a lot to enjoy on this album. Pay particular attention to 'All Eyes On You' and 'The Play.' "Calling The Earth To Witness' is definitely worth your attention.
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