Dark Age - 'A Matter of Trust' CD Review (AFM Records) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Monday, September 30, 2013

Dark Age - 'A Matter of Trust' CD Review (AFM Records)

Dark Age - 'A Matter of Trust' CD Review (AFM Records)
As the German band Dark Age sparked no name recognition with me prior to receiving a copy of the band’s seventh disc, A Matter of Trust (AFM Records), it seems like a good idea to start with a bio/history of the band before diving into a review.

Accordingly to Wikipedia - Dark Age is a German Electronic Rock/Metal band from Hamburg, Germany formed in 1995 by Eike Freese (guitar, vocals), André Schumann (drums) and Oliver Fliegel (bass guitar). In 1994, Eike Freese, André Schumann and Oliver Fliegel formed a death metal band called Dyer's Eve. One year later the name was changed to Dark Age. The new name was inspired by a Vader songtitle, while their older one was inspired by a Metallica song title.

The band’s newest disc, A Matter of Trust, came out earlier this month and it is a pretty diverse affairs. While the band’s Wikipedia bio makes Dark Age sound like a death metal act…depending on which track you play from the new disc, you are more likely to make comparisons to Linkin Park (due to the interplay between clean and screamo vocals) or a number of the 90’s alt-rock/post-grunge acts (both musically and due to moments of messianic [think Eddie Vedder / Scott Stapp] vocals.

Dark Age’s music is predominately electronica/keyboard driven alt-rock (with a few divergences into hard-rock) and vocals are mostly in clear, non-accented English. All of the songs are very accessible and any of these songs could easily fit into regular rotation on FM radio. The disc’s first two numbers, “Nero” and “Afterlife” are very similar in structure and feature chugging guitar riffs, clean leads, atmospheric keyboards and intermixed clean and screamo vocals. This style sets the tone for the first third of the disc and the strongest of these cuts is “Fight!” which brings all of these influences and sounds together into a well-crafted and aggressive number.

The band uses “Don’t Let the Devil Get Me” to shift gears into more of an arena/modern rock sound for the back-half of the disc. “Don’t Let the Devil Get Me” starts with an angelic church choir and diverges mid-track into a soft melodic piano interlude before picking back up with a melodic soaring guitar lead. Following this, the band goes into arena rock for the next few numbers and they switch up this sound a bit on “Dark Sign” with heavy (OMD style) keyboard. The disc ends with “Onwards!”, which is an atmospheric number that sounds a bit like Simple Minds (if one ignores the growled cookie monster vocals joining in on the chorus).

Dark Age