It is with great ease and not a lick of trepidation that I say; Darkest Era is a legend in the making. They came blasting out of the gate this year with the release of their debut, The Last Caress of Light, a contender, nay, shoe in for a coveted spot on my “best of” 2011 list and since I’ve been listening to them a lot these last seven days, it’s a fitting choice for the album of the week as well.
Here’s The Morrigan:
Since I got my hands on this release earlier this year it’s been on steady rotation in my car, on my ipod and in the background while I work. Darkest Era takes a page out of fellow countrymen Primordial’s book with this release, favoring the longer, folk infused compositions--but unlike Primordial, who’s roots lie in black metal, Darkest Era’s tracks, while epic, long, and galloping, take more of an influence from traditional and heavy metals.
One of the biggest draws to Darkest Era, and especially The Last Caress of Light, is the vocals. Within you’ll find no high pitched shrieks, low growls or much else besides solid, mid-toned singing with some harmonization thrown in for good measure and much to my delight. The music it’s self often pans from “jammy”, to atmospheric, epic, to galloping, and back again, sometimes even within the same song. Occasionally the listener is treated to something unplugged, either in its entirety as is the case with the beautiful Poem to the Gael, or, in most instances, as an accent any given track might just not be the same without. The drums are thunderous, sometimes almost tribal, expertly executed, and an all around perfect fit. As a whole, The Last Caress of Light is a near-flawless debut offering from a band I’ve no doubt we’ll be hearing much more quality metal from in the years to come.
The Last Caress of Light is available now from Metal Blade Records and yes, highly recommended.
Album of the week? Indeed. Album of the year? You’ll just have to wait until December to see.