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White Skull - The Dark Age - reviewed by: EC

Track Listing
1. Penitenziagite (intro)
2. The Dark Age
3. Grand Inquisitor
4. Maid Of Orleans
5. New Crusade
6. The Edict
7. Voice from the Heaven
8. Devil's Woman
9. Torture
10. A New Handbook
11. Sentence Of Death
12. Theme For The Innocence
The Dark Age marks the fifth release for this Italian power metal group, and the band's first album with a male singer. Gustavo Gabarro takes over the mike from original vocalist Federica De Boni. This is a pleasant change for me due to the fact that I'm not a huge fan of female vocals. Gabarro comes across as a fitting vocalist for White Skull, sounding like a dead ringer for Death SS frontman Steve Sylvester.

This unfortunately is the last disc to have Nick Savio on guitar, as he has left the band to pursue the hard rock sounds of Vicious Mary. His guitar performance is just overwhelming on this record, adding a deep layer of hard rock and power metal grooves on each track. White Skull have a signature Italian power sound, but in this case I believe the album title has done the band justice, as this record brings a new "Dark Age" to the White Skull sound. Cuts like the title track, "Grand Inquisitor" and "New Crusade" are very eerie at times, almost sending an apocalyptic message to the listener, reminding me of Dark At Dawn meets Death SS in that regard. Great hooks capture other tracks, previewing what Savio had in store for his new band Vicious Mary, elevating songs like "Devil's Woman" and "A New Handbook" to guitar glory.

This type of record is exactly what White Skull needed at this point of their journey. I hope the band strays from the typical power metal sound and explores more of this "darkside". Lets welcome the Dark Age, and welcome the new White Skull. --EC 2.18.03



ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
This one gets extra points for the naked chick on the cover.

--Nailer
About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

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: WHITE SKULL
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
The Dark AgeWhite Skull
2002
Eric Compton2/18/2003


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: WHITE SKULL
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Under This FlagWhite Skull
2012
Eric Compton3/13/2013


ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: WHITE SKULL
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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