|Review: Darkology - Altered Reflections|
Label: Rockaholics Records
Year released: 2009
Genre: Progressive Power Metal
Review online: February 5, 2010
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
Rated 4.17/5 (83.33%) (6 Votes)
Kelly Carpenter really has left his mark on the metal scene, hasn't he? He was in the fantastic Beyond Twilight, wailing his heart out on that band's dark, twisted music...for one album. And then he was in Outworld, wailing his heart out with even more conviction and power...for one album. What the hell is up with this guy? He can't stay in one band for more than one album, so he just jumps around all over the place doing whatever comes up? Well, whatever works. It turns out in 2009, this flightiness has produced yet another album of dark, riffy Power Metal in Altered Reflections, the debut from Darkology.
Really, this is just a mess. At first it sounds kind of cool, and the production is excellent, but the main problem is the songwriting – it is all over the place. Nothing is catchy, nothing really flows...it's just all over the place, like a splattered paint canvass. There are some cool riffs, and Carpenter's trademark vocal acrobatics are charming, but none of it really coalesces into one amazing song. The closest is probably "I Bleed," which is an eerie half-ballad with some cool high notes on the chorus. But even then, it isn't as memorable as it could be.
This is the kind of album that draws you in with its dark, metallic thematic and theatric over-the-top stylings, but really it's just kind of confused underneath. First-time listeners will no doubt be wowed by the sinister, borderline-thrashy riffing and the occult acoustic bits spliced in between, as well as all of the spastic time changes, but it's convoluted and dull. This is almost like listening to the musical version of a complex Calculus equation; it's just about as obscure and complicated. But it's also just about as boring.
And this whole style just isn't going to do it anymore. You have to come up with a new spin on it, guys; Outworld and Beyond Twilight already capped this whole dark prog-power-whatsit style half a decade ago. This offers nothing that new, outside of a few new blips and bleeps of new sounds. As it stands, this album has some promising parts, but Darkology will really need to step up their game and either write better songs or create something more original to stand out.
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