Dark Age – Minus Exitus (2008)
It’s not always easy to write a review. If you already have some experience in this domain, you will agree with me. There are records which are kick-ass and it’s nearly impossible to find something negative about them, and there are records which are so bad, that they’re a waste of time and a torture to your ears. With Dark Age, I had another problem: the first time I listened to “Minus Exitus”, I was pretty disappointed and if I had written a review that day, this CD wouldn’t even have reached the 5 points mark. Yesterday and today I listened to it again, and my mood has changed from total disappointment into some kind of satisfaction (Outlook: rising continues).
So who are Dark Age? Dark Age from Germany are playing since 1994 Melodic Death Metal with some Power Metal influences and they have released 5 full-length records.
In 2004, they released the CD “Dark Age” (the record with that horrible CD-Cover, if you know what I mean^^) and I bought it after listening to a Legacy Sampler. Now in 2008 I bought “Minus Exitus” without listening to a Legacy Sampler and what has changed? Not that much! It’s the same concept: First the powerful riffs, accompanied by aggressive vocals, than the refrain with the clean vocals, and again some powerful riffs…A few experiments in the songwriting would have been more interesting. But hey, no changes-no mistakes, bands like Cannibal Corpse are also pretty conservative. Unfortunately this entails that the clean vocals are still not to my taste because they sound too forced and emotionless. This is carried to the extremes in the song “No Way Home”. I always have to throw my hands up in horror when the singer starts with the words “Brothers and Sisters…”
Nevertheless, “Minus Exitus” is still a good, modern piece of Metal. The guitar-work is very clever and mature and the solos have become more important. The influences from the North (Gothenburg) can’t be denied and Dark Age knows absolutely how to use them well.
The same applies for the production: the heavy riffs sound compact and aggressive; the lead riffs are loud and clear. For my taste, the drums are a little bit too much in the background.
So it seems that the chapter “Minus Exitus” still has a happy end and I give you the advice to listen 3 or 4 times to this record before you give up, because the potential of most songs can’t be discovered the first time. Exhausting but it’s worthwhile!
~ by SvArt on March 10, 2008.