THE LAST CARESS OF LIGHT
Northern Ireland quintet Darkest Era share as much in common with fellow countrymen Thin Lizzy as they do the NWOBHM hoard as demonstrated on their eight-track endeavor THE LAST CARESS OF LIGHT. But the three guys and two gals (drummer and guitarist, by the way) that comprise this troupe go beyond being more than a mere retread of the past by displaying a modernized melancholic stomp on cuts like “Heathen Burial”. Despite the good argument that can be made that Darkest Era borrows an abundance of their influence as well as shares more than just a similar strand of folk underneath a decisively metallic foundation from the likes of Opeth and veteran Celtic metal merchants Primordial, differences such as vocalist Krum’s classically derived and dynamically lacking clean singing technique separates the bands on the metal continuum just enough to push Darkest Era into a murkier middle ground between where all of the aforementioned reside. Earnestly supplying a wealth of ominous tones with battle ready bite that assist to flesh out their simple yet effective overall heaviness (“Visions of the Dawn”) while exhibiting a barrage of doom, traditional, and Celtic nuances in their solid songwriting, Darkest Era dials up a majestic feel that carries this disc into being its own distinct niche.