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Dark Avenger - "Tales Of Avalon: The Lament" (CD)

Dark Avenger - "Tales Of Avalon: The Lament" CD cover image

"Tales Of Avalon: The Lament" track listing:

1. From Father to Son
2. Doomsday Night
3. The Knight on the Hill
4. Broken Vows
5. Stronger Than Death
6. Can You Feel It?
7. Utther Evil
8. Sicorax Scream
9. Dead Yet Alive
10. And So Be It...
11. The Thousand Ones

Reviewed by on December 31, 2013

"Dark Avenger has made the wait more than worth the agony."

10 years is a very long wait….and sometimes age does not bode well for certain bands. For Dark Avenger, the wait may have been bitter sweet for fans, but the results fared better than any of the previous efforts. 10 years is what it took to propel the band from “middle of the pack” to the upper echelon of power metal bands.

Hailing from the land where power metal lives – Brazil – Dark Avenger spent the first 20 years of its existence making attempts to be seen and heard outside the borders of its homeland, where many bands seem content to reside (and hide) due to the self-sustaining scene. A self-titled debut album roared onto the scene in 1995, then came the first hiatus of six years before the release of the new album’s predecessor “Tales of Avalon: The Terror” in 2001. Since then, the only glimmer of existence came in 2003 with the release of the “X Dark Years” EP. In 2013, when the first teaser clip of “Tales of Avalon: The Lament” was posted by the band…it already was light years better than the previous solid efforts. It took one listen to justify that claim. It took one additional listen to realize that Dark Avenger unleashed an album worthy of the highest acclaim.

Dark Avenger might not be at the top of the minds of European and especially U.S. metal fans, but that really needs to change in the coming year. Through all the complaints about power metal becoming “too soft” or “too orchestrated” or “too European” – leading to the rise and return of many so-called “U.S. power metal” bands – “Tales of Avalon: The Lament” brings power metal back to its true calling: heavy riffs, soaring melodies, and phenomenal vocals. Stripped of over the top orchestration, the band gets down to what power metal is all about: the guitar.

“Tales of Avalon: The Lament” is the sequel to the 2001 release and carries the story forward from the closing outro of “Tales of Avalon: The Terror.” The story was based on a play written by vocalist Mario Linhares. His talent does not merely encompass story writing skills, as Mario has a voice that was sent by the power metal gods. Similar in style to Helker/Electronomicon vocalist Diego Valdez – less the spot on Dio impression – Linhares can dish it out from all angles – high, low, gritty, smooth, soft. No matter the direction, it never lacks in pure power.

On initial listen, my adolescent preferences for speed gravitated immediately towards “Doomsday Night,” a blistering anthem that smashes faces and gets the listener moving. Multitudes of listens later, the song still resonates highly. Shortly after, “age and wisdom” preferences took over gravitating towards the simpler, mid-paced and pause filled crusher “Broken Vows.” At writing time, emotional preferences were tickled by the passion filled “Utther Evil,” a track filled with as much spirit, sentiment and anger that pure metallic power metal can muster. If there was the perfect example of a track to describe the full range and ability of Linhares…this is it. Add to this the amazing guest appearance by the Falaschi brothers (Edu and Tito) on the building power laden “Dead Yet Alive.”

Dark Avenger has made the wait more than worth the agony. In as much as I knew about the band before this release, it seemed lost in the middle of the pack. “Tales of Avalon: The Lament” propels the band into the upper echelon of the genre as a whole. It crushes any album that came before from the band, as well as many other like releases this year (save for albums from Bane of Winterstorm, Gloryhammer and Dignity). Fans of pure power should put this release on the top of their wish lists.

Highs: Power metal that brings guitar back to the forefront.

Lows: Not much here for the extreme lover.

Bottom line: "Lamenting" the stagnation of power metal? Dark Avenger brings it all back to where it should be!

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls

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)