DARKBLACK – Midnight Wraith, a five song EP from Portland Oregon’s DarkBlack, will be releasing on December 1, 2010, on Stormspell Records. Wether you call yourself a Traditional Metal or Old School Metal fan, DarkBlack is a band that may inspire your going out to buy that 1983 Chevy Nova you’ve been holding out on… complete with fuzzy, black dice hanging from the windshield mirror with hood stripes too. As with their Traditional Metal peers, the likes of Enforcer, Ravage and White Wizzard, (to name a few), DarkBlack takes me down Metal memory lane to a time when bootleg and demo cassette trading was the norm.
Stop right there. Is there any Metal relevance you ask? Hell yeah there is! DarkBlack is a Metal band that doesn’t seem to care about contemporary fads… Old School Metal never says die! With that said, this Midnight Wraith EP does sound raw and absent of any multi-million dollar producer… and that is what makes this new release from DarkBlack all the more appealing to my Metal ears.
If any Metalhead out there needs to be swayed into listening to Midnight Wraith, just revisit the first two Iron Maiden albums from the Metal yesteryear. They were not the muscular produced gems of Iron Maiden’s The Number Of The Beast or A Matter Of Life And Death albums. In a perfect Metal world, Metal is best when it stays underground… and DarkBlack seems to have tapped into those underground Metal vibes quite naturally.
DarkBlack may not have their own Boeing 757-200 jet, complete with a band mascot painted on it, yet what they do have is a Metal hunger in their playing and it comes right out at me through their songs. Yes, there is plenty of room for DarkBlack to expand on their Metal palette, however, if one is to look at the legacies of Motorhead and Venom, who gives a crap about how raw a band does sound anyways, especially when the seeds of Metal legitimacy have been planted.
All five songs on Midnight Wraith seem to lure me in, they are like Metal bait on a hook. The riffs, guitar leads and solos are memorable throughout all five songs, admittedly they are kinda hard to ignore. A streamlined speed and heaviness combined with a melodic approach is what DarkBlack has embarked upon. I can’t help rooting for a band like DarkBlack, these guys would be voted off that bubble gum Fox network talent show in a heartbeat and would make the cast of Glee run for cover. What’s wrong with that? Absolutely nothing, is the correct answer.
Timothy on vocals could justifiably use some more oomph in letting his pipes be heard, he is a very decent singer… a production tweak is really all it takes there. As for the overall musicianship you can expect to hear on Midnight Wraith, it is all about the foundation. DarkBlack has it and will no doubt continue to build upon it. Sometimes you have to reach back into your Metal archives and realize that some of today’s biggest Metal bands never sounded super polished on their first two or three albums either. DarkBlack is worth checking out and keeping a Metal eye on… give ‘em an Old School try, it might just serve you right.
* For more info on DARKBLACK, just click on the link below:
Midnight Wraith EP Track Listing:
GO GET ‘EM DARKBLACK.