Review Summary: a lesson in simplicity, "Darker Days" sparks new life into the dying genre of symphonic gothic metal.
Symphonic gothic metal is often host to ridiculously overblown music. As the years have progressed, the genre has been slowly dying because of it, with quality artists nearly in-existent. Finding an album that is attractive through and through seems to be pretty rare, and occasionally we will find a new album that gives hope to the dying genre. Stream Of Passion’s Darker Days
is the album to do just that. Although it may not immediately impress, the album harkens back to the days when gothic metal didn’t need bombast to prove a point. Darker Days
is a lesson in simplicity, and proves that symphonic gothic metal can still be done well in 2011.
The symphonic elements here are via a string quartet and the band’s keyboardist. Whereas many bands before this one have used symphonic elements as a crutch, they are actually employed tastily here. The same can be said for the guitars which give the obligatory heavy riffs, but work within the band’s atmosphere. The guitars are never boring, however, and surprise us with massive hooks. Basically, the album is put together incredibly well, and puts bands like ReVamp and Sirenia to shame. In this genre, bigger isn’t necessarily better.
is a rare breed of an album indeed. Soaring melodies are at work making songs memorable, yet it is nothing without emotion. The music within feels alive, as if the band actually cared about the emotional aspect, as opposed to making an album just to make money. “Gothic” metal implies a certain dark tone, and Darker Days
delivers with wistful, mystical melodies. ‘The Scarlet Mark’ is the perfect example, with a strong Middle Eastern feel in the verse, coupled with crushing guitars. This could easily fall apart without an appropriately proficient singer, but Marcela Bovio’s haunting female vocals are the perfect accompaniment. Her voice is given much care and grace, and it ultimately polishes Darker Days
into a rather beautiful pearl.