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Dark Age - Dark Age - Remedy Records - 2004 reviewed by: Ajax

Track Listing
1 Fix the focus
2 Zero
3 Dare to collapse
4 Pulse of minority
5 Neokillers
6 Nikita
7 My own darkness
8 Neurosis 404
9 The elegy of a forgotten science
10 Suicide solution (Ozzy Osbourne cover)
Dark Age, in my opinion one of the best kept secrets in the world of death metal. The band hail from Hamburg, Germany, and their sound can be discribed as a crossover between death/darkmetal and a touch of goth. They've got a certain Gothenburg feel to their sound, but their style is distinctive, yet catchy.

Although most mellow deathsongs can be described by their contast between clear sung choruses and the more harsh melodies, it is precisely these characteristics that make Dark Age a cut above the rest. Their distinctiveness shines through in the uptempo songs and singer Eike Freese's peculair voice. The point is: where other bands would throw in some clean singing and/or guitar solos just for plain variety, for this band it really works. Dark Age is one of the few bands able to incorporate all the formentioned elements into a perfect blend of truly blistering melodic death. Their sound is a melancholic blend of darkness and grief bathed in an energetic mix of fury and melody. There is a dark undertone to the songs, which is emphasized by the constant suport of the synths. Ah, the synts, always (yet subtle) present in the background, which gives the songs just that little extra. Except for "My Own Darkness", the songs are fastpaced--an ongoing assault of melody, guitar solos and screams is shot your way.

As mentioned above, it is the voice of singer/guitarist Eike Freese which gives Dark Age it's characteristics. Dark Age is also the first album in which the clean vocals are so heavilly incorporated. Before, the clean vocals were only used on two songs of the "Silent Republic" album. Now the clean vocals contribute to most of the album's songs. Two songs on the album really stand out: "Dare to Collapse" and the forementioned "My Own Darkness". "Dare to Collapse" is a fastpaced song with a truly devastating guitar solo that goes on and on, whereas "My own Darkness" is more of a clean sung ballad (yes ladies and gentleman, a mellow death ballad!). The song is about being alone and nobody being there for you. A theme perfectly fitting Dark Age's dark undertone.

The album's title was chosen because the band did everything on this record by themselves for the first time. All by themselves? Yes, Dark Age frontman Eike Freese is the proud owner of the Eikey Studios and a recordlabel called Eikey-Music (Check out www.eikey-music.com). The album was produced in the Eikey Studios in winter 2003/2004. Besides the song writing the production was also done by Freese. Freese also co-produced the earlier Dark Age albums, but this time the production was completely by his hand. The advantage is obvious as Freese exactly knows what the album would have to sound like.

Various artists contributed to Dark Age: Tiamat's Johan Edlund joined the recording session for two tracks ("Dare to Collapse" and "The Elegy of a Forgotten Science"), as did Nachtgarm from Negator ("Neurosis 404"), Kannixx from Torment ("Pulse of Minority"), Alex Muritz from Serpent Soul (also on "Pulse of Minority") and finally Florian from Eclipsis ("Nikita").

The album comes in a normal jewelcase edition and a bonus edition which contains the normal CD plus a bonus DVD. The bonus edition contains an etched CD. This means that on the back of the CD you can read the words Dark Age and Remedy Records. The DVD contains a 45-minute studio diary of the recording process. Theres is a live-part consisting of about an hour of live material of two shows: a recording of the band's 50th show in their hometown Pinneberg and a recording from Metal Bash Open Air 2003. Besides the live recordings the video clip of the song "The Fall" from the band's debut album “The Fall” is included, as well as a biography of the band members.

Although they do not hail from Gothenburg, this band is capable of competing with the genres best. I wonder why this band is still so relatively unknown, whereas lesser gods are credited for by a much wider audience. An audience undoubtedly wanting to hear from this band. Dark Age is the logical step in taking (melodic) death metal to the next level. This band creates so incredibly much energy that if death could dance Dark Age would be his DJ!!


--Ajax 10.08.04
Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: DARK AGE
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Dark AgeDark Age
2004
Ajax10/7/2004


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: DARK AGE
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
AcediaDark Age
2009
Eric Compton6/18/2010


ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: DARK AGE
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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