Review Summary: Dark celtic folk metal in the vein of Primordial. An excellent preview for what's to come in the future.
Darkest Era is a Celtic folk metal band hailing from Northern Ireland. Since their inception in 2005, they have released a demo and just recently a four track mini album called “The Journey Through Damnation”. Darkest Era isn’t folk in the traditional sense of folk metal. I say that because more often than not, most folk metal bands you come across will feature a plethora of instruments akin to the ever increasing absurdity of the genre. Darkest Era instead go down a more straightforward route and blend elements of doom and folk into a classic heavy metal fold. The Journey Through Damnation” is complete with galloping rhythms, powerful clean vocals, and epic chord progressions.
“The Journey Through Damnation’ opens up with a bang as “The Morrigan” begins to pick up speed. The intro quickly reminds me of Primordial’s “Heathen Tribes” before erupting into a raging anthem. Primordial’s influence can be heard early on with Dwayne’s impassioned vocals rivaling even that of
Alan Averill. Primordial comparison aside, Dwayne is a great metal vocalist recalling the spirit of the 80’s with the power and raw emotion he displays in his voice. What I’m most impressed with from this group is the strong guitar work from Ade and Sarah. The talent that they exhibit on this mini disk before they’ve even released their debut album has my thumb of approval. This guy and gal craft some seriously catchy riffs that will stick in your head with their epic qualities. Always heavy and bringing the folk influence into play, the duo bang out raging mid tempo patterns to a great avail. Don’t forget about the solos. There’s plenty here and always welcome in my book. Another interesting feature is that the drumming is played by another female. Lisa’s drum work is pretty cool albeit nothing unfamiliar. Plenty of fast tempo shifts and thundering double bass to keep the metallers happy. Before viewing I was curious to hear the bassist’s input in this project and I’m not disappointed. The bass is cleanly heard and sounds great when David follows the guitar around with quick fills.
Production wise this isn’t too bad for a young band. The gritty tone fit’s Darkest Era’s aggressive nature quite well. My only complaints would be that it ends too soon, coming in around 4 tracks at 25 minutes and the prominent Primordial influence. There are times where I feel like I am directly listening to a Primordial track and not a Darkest Era Track. I just hope in time of their newest release that they continue to focus on creating a sound true to themselves and not ripping off one of their idols Few complaints aside, this is an awesome addition to the folk metal community and am eagerly anticipating new output from these guys because they show great potential here. Fans of Primordial and those who like their metal epic need to hear this band.
Dwayne Maguire – Vocals
Ade Mulgrew – Guitar
Sarah Wieghell – Guitar
David Lindsay – Bass
Lisa Howe - Drums