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On disc: Arcana XXII

- The Burning Darkness - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars

The Burning Darkness

The Burning Darkness
(self-released - 2001)

When the Namibian quintet kicks off their album The Burning Darkness it remind me of US metal and through the high-pitched vocals in the beginning of Mercyful Fate, then they slow down and sounds more like Type O Negative at Bloody Kisses (vocally)... The track which opens up the album is called Ramses. The band of guitarist Johan de Jager seems to have many different influences which they combine. Actually this is the 2nd release (Barren Land - 4-track EP in 2000) of the band which started back in 1997 in Windhoek. They also made their first step to the masses with playing at Wacken open-air in 2001. Their they impressed some people and among then Alex Beyroth (Silent Force) and Achim Köhler (well-known engineer) who offered their knowledge on a reduced rate to produce and engineer the next album of the South African five-piece. Unfortunately the band couldn't afford to pay even the reduced rates due to the weak currency in their home country. But they recorded The Burning Darkness which is their debut and which offers 11 power metal tracks with twin guitar lines and a powerful, unique voice. On Remember Forever the band presents the different shades of their sound with breaks, doom parts and screaming guitars. They create their own sound out of known elements and so there are parts which remind you of this or that band.
The songs may need more then one spin to discover them at all, but it's worth spending the time! These days you find so many copycats, that it's nice to get something new. They sound fresh, even if there are part which might be irritating at first like the female vocals on Like A God, but is it fair to expect a perfect album from a young band? I think it's not! Beside that the band produced the album on their own and perhaps a producer who isn't involved would have encouraged them to change things here and there. Anyway, this is really interesting, not just because the band is from Namibia!
They are crossing borders. Not everybody will like this, but if you are open-minded, then visit their website and make up your mind!

7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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