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Darkology - "Fated To Burn" (CD)

Darkology - "Fated To Burn" CD cover image

"Fated To Burn" track listing:

1. Kill Me If You Can
2. Beyond The Grave
3. On Morrows Break
4. The Eyes Of The Machine
5. Quantum Genocide
6. The Shadows Of Oth
7. Fated To Burn
8. 21st Century Frankensteins (Nobot2)
9. Festival Of Fear
10. Holy
11. Nightmare King (i. Shadows Of The Abyss; ii. The Summoning; iii. The Construct; iv. Eternus Nocturne: The Dark Domain)
12. Your Hollow Soul (instrumental mix, bonus track)

Reviewed by on June 9, 2015

"Darkology is a Metal Church for a new generation – and 'Fated to Burn' leaves such an indelible vibe of 'The Dark' that I swear the spirit of circa-1986 David Wayne seems to have implanted itself inside of Kelly."

In what seemed like an eternity since the details on the second Darkology album surfaced in December 2013, the running joke was that the second album should be renamed “Fated to Never Be Released.” “Official leaks” of demo tracks surfaced ahead of a European tour “in support of the album” (and without Carptenter who had other commitments). The demos only served to deepen fan desire for the release, as they revealed vocalist Kelly Sundown Carpenter (ex-Firewind live, Adagio) absolutely KILLING IT with a sharpened buzz saw edge that makes Ripper Owens look like an absolute chump. Flash forward to 2015 and finally a release date through Prime Eon and/or Nightmare (depending on where you live) would happen in late Spring. Was it all worth the wait, agony and hype? You betcha it was.

The album is a steamroller from start to finish – with some parts here and there that tend to drift slightly (the title track for one) – but it never disappoints. As evidenced in the demos, Carpenter proves why he should be a vocalist in demand as he drives home the heaviness with his ultra-sharp brilliant delivery. Unlike most singers who like to live in the rafters, Kelly pulls it off with zero annoyance. His shredding high end is absolutely essential given the musical assault of riffs (from the great Michael Harris of Thought Chamber) and pounding rhythms (from bassist Michael Neal and drummer Brian Harris) that back it up. Though not similar in style per se as total impact, “Fated to Burn” gives me the same feel as the first time I heard Winter’s Bane’s “Heart of a Killer” and Sanctuary’s “Refuge Denied,” where the first blush with both the young Ripper Owens and Warrell Dane were absolutely life changing. If you add a little dose of “Breaker” era Accept and a tiny drop of Symphony X you have just the tip of just how brilliant “Fated to Burn” truly is.

The Harris brothers have struck upon an exciting formula of U.S. power and traditional with just a touch of progressive. In terms of comparison with 2009’s “Altered Reflections,” this album packs five times the punch and power, sure to please fans that prefer metal heavy, guitar driven, and with shredding vocals. The album is a flurry of amazing grinding riffs with Kelly’s lethal vox that make tracks like “Shadows of Oth,” “Quantum Genocide,” “Kill Me If You Can,” “21st Century Frankenstein (Nobot 2)” and personal favorite “Festival of Fear” sound, and in many ways exceed, “Painkiller.” In fact, Darkology is a Metal Church for a new generation – and “Fated to Burn” leaves such an indelible vibe of “The Dark” that I swear the spirit of circa-1986 David Wayne seems to have implanted itself inside of Kelly.

In one of the most exciting and pure metal releases in well over a decade, “Fated to Burn” is well worth the wait. Darkology stakes its claim in a busy circuit and with one flap of burning wings created an album that can easily be labeled an instant classic, thus raising its stock as one of the best U.S. bands out there today. This isn’t a mere claim only to be dashed away by a short time – this is the real deal! If you call yourself a fan of metal than heed these words….”Fated to Burn” lives up to and exceeds any hype you may have for it. If you haven’t familiarized yourself with the band, then you picked the right time, because the album isn’t “fated to burnout” anytime soon. Darkology has arrived.

Highs: One of the best pure metal albums in a decade, Kelly Sundown Carpenter shines.

Lows: Some songs drift a little, but not by much.

Bottom line: Darkology strikes back with an album that is "Fated to Burn" into the memory for a long long time.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)