Darksky – Crimson Butterfly [EP] – 4.5/5
Occasionally a band will surprise me. Found through ebay of all places, I was intrigued enough to pay what would turn out to be a bargain price, for this is one of those bands that ranks up there with those that I couldn’t keep my trap shut about before the review was to be released.
The influences here are vast, and whilst I could spend a while comparing them to other bands I will try to be brief. Combine Dream Theatre’s emotion with Zero Hours riffing, To-Mera’s intersections and keyboard work and Project Hate’s Beauty and the Beast vocal work and you get some idea what to expect. Technical, emotional, aggressive and yet also frequently soft with melodic power solo’s and classical keyboard interludes, this is a mighty big bag of tricks they manage to conjure and I for one am spellbound.
The drums are perhaps the simplest feature here, but they keep no monotonous beat here. Practically soloing themselves during the guitar solo’s, they are used to incredible effect and create another layer to strengthen the line-up, clearly heard whilst not being prominent. This too goes for the bass, which is rather basic, allowing the guitar to create a lot of the melody it is nonetheless easy to distinguish and critical in the rhythm of the song.
The guitars when not proving their technical prowess play comparatively simplistic riffs (that still put most to shame) intended to provide a constant tension, a slow climactic build-up which never fails to emerge. Aggressive, calming, melodic and emotional they provide everything you could ask for. Not overcome with the need for constant displays of technical ability, he presents time and time again his ability to create before any neo-classical shredding.
Containing a mid ranged blackened growls he adds diversity to the track whilst adding little unique to it. The manner in which he switches with the clean vocals, which are often heard swooning in the background when not the focus, is however, impeccable. Capable of displaying a thin and powerful sounding tone, cutting through the rather complex backing provided for her to come out with a prominent presence, which is most certainly fitting to the atmosphere created, successfully adding a layer of emotion that may well otherwise be lost.
Despite being only an EP, the creativity and diversity they have shown themselves capable of leaves me excited about their next release. This is an artist that could very easily find themselves topping my list of obsessions, and with a full-length scheduled for release in the spring, this is one person who’ll be bouncing in their seat until it comes.
Highlight: Throth Shall be, Concealed by an Illusion
Note: And so it comes to me figuring out the genre they play, and I realised I honestly don’t know what to call it. Whilst progressive, the thrash like riffs, neo-classical solo’s, symphonic interludes and blackened growls leave me stumped as to where to place them. Not sounding unusual, but even when consulting others on the matter I realised the only place they fit is ‘progressive metal.’