Review Summary: Dark against the sky, yet shining regardless.
Progressive music, much like stars have always been an interest of mine. Did I also mention that I like the dark? Why does this matter? It doesn’t really, however the progressive/metal band who call themselves ”Darkstar”
have released an album entitled, ”Marching Into Oblivion”
. Like most experimentally interesting music I have found “Marching Into Oblivion” seemed to be an album to discover rather than find me through the radio waves. Either that or sunny California isn’t very fond of the immensely dark ambience that this album seeps from the pores.
To inform you before hand, this album does not feature any standard vocals. In place of the usual vocals are samplings and small sequences from movies. This is readily apparent with the title track in which small clips are taken from the movie, ”Aliens"
(1986). The track starts off with a glimmering, spacey feeling before launching into expertly woven bass play, each pluck of the four stringed instrument propelling the song forward. A guitar slides and soars, winding and squeaking its way alongside the masterful bass work. A very “middle eastern” feeling guitar progression breaks the surface towards the last half of the song while a static ridden radio portion is added to the mix. Confusion on a Grand Scale
thrusts the album forward with meaty guitar riffs and quirky movie lines placed throughout such as, ”I am Jim Jones attorney!”
. The sampling while certainly on the lines of being rather weird is actually quite pleasing and thoroughly interesting. The drumming, while keeping a steady pace for each song, falls into the category of “basic”.
Ominous tracks like, ”Out There”
, paint a cloudy painting with moody piano sweeps placed occasionally throughout. Adding to the dreary mood of the song is the creepily high pitched guitar progressions that are executed superbly. While the song doesn’t go through a large amount of mood shifts it’s apparent that the steady, gloomy atmosphere is what the band was going for. "Alone"
(as the title suggests) continues this pungent vibe but with a very intricate guitar opening that slightly recalls the video game ”Columns”
(Sega Genesis). For those unfamiliar it sounds as if vibrant puzzle pieces are electronically falling in on themselves. The bass on the song is the simple work of a genius, the muddy plucks impelling the track with each hammered note. Also adding interest is how some tracks seems to combine a “middle eastern”/”space exploration” type listening experience. While I’m not sure if this was the bands intention it definitely holds your attention as the majority of the songs go on past the five minute mark. The albums closer, ”Alien Christ”
, absolutely screams the 80s. The drum fills are swifter and more noticeable here and a strange, alien like language plays at the background. The soft chants mixed in are just enough to make you think of things such as ”Halo”
, or some type of dramatic space scene.
Marching Into Oblivion
for everyone. It’s quirky, slightly pretentious (as is a lot of progressive style music) and makes you feel like you’re listening to a space drama type television show. At times the songs do grow slightly repetitive as there is the apparent lack of vocals. If however you’re looking for something a little more experimental and laid back in a cloudy fashion, listen to this. The bass playing is strikingly well played, something I always look for in well structured music. The guitars soar and wind all the while creating that very, “space exploration” vibe the album excels at. The drumming, while obviously not the main focus is consistent and fitting. So if the thought of moody aliens and gloomy space ships scare you, stay away. If however you are like me and enjoy that type of vibe, hop aboard ”Marching Into Oblivion”
"Confusion on a Grand Scale"