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Darkblack - "Midnight Wraith" (CD/EP)

Darkblack - "Midnight Wraith" CD/EP cover image

"Midnight Wraith" track listing:

1. Doom Herald
2. Power Monger
3. Golden Idol
4. Midnight Wraith
5. Broken Oath

Reviewed by on November 24, 2010

"The biggest problem with this EP is that all of the songs sound quite a bit alike — and in more than an 'every AC/DC song sounds the same' kind of way."

Darkblack's new EP, "Midnight Wraith" definitely harkens back to around 1978 sonically, with a Thin Lizzy-meets-Iron Maiden feel, and the band definitely has the chops to back it up. Unfortunately, when there are only five songs, having a couple of them sound far too much alike really damages this EP.

Tim Smith is an excellent bassist, and his vocals are more than adequate on tracks like the galloping "Golden Idol" and "Broken Oath." It's regrettable that they get covered up quite a bit on most of the other tracks.

Guitarists Anthony Crocamo and Rob McConlogue are the real stars here, with some superb instrumental breaks and solos in every song. "Broken Oath's" solos particularly stand out, though the solo in "Golden Idol" is also excellent.

The biggest problem with this EP is that all of the songs sound quite a bit alike — and in more than an "every AC/DC song sounds the same" kind of way. "Doom Herald" and "Power Monger," the first two tracks are especially similar. Though neither is a bad song, it has the effect of making the disc feel longer than its 24 minutes, and not in a good way.

All in all, Darkblack's "Midnight Wraith" is a decent EP, harkening back to a great era in metal. I just wish the band's songwriting was a little more equal to its considerable instrumental chops.

Highs: Excellent playing, with "Broken Oath" and "Golden Idol" especially standing out.

Lows: The songs tend to blend together.

Bottom line: A decent EP that harkens back to the late '70s and early 1980s sonically.

Rated 3.0 out of 5 skulls
3.0 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)