Dark Age: Acedia

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Dark Age: Acedia
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Dark Age: Acedia
Melodic Death Metal, Power Metal
AFM Records
November 13th, 2009
Release length: 44:03
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Consider Amorphis around their mid career, but tack on some heavier yet often simpler Sentenced riffs with synthesizers and some electronica elements, and you could easily figure out what to expect on Dark Age‘s sixth full-length album, Acedia. While this combination may sound rather lame and, in life, sound somewhat stereotypical, Acedia seems to find the band continuing to branch out, but not always in a good way. Acedia is a polished album full of stylish Metal that is too heavy to be lumped in with the whole Gothic Rock/Metal movement, but, like many bands in that former style, this release really only has a few songs that are entertaining.

Acedia starts off nice enough with some good guitar riffs that get you pumped for a heavy, entertaining Melodic Death album, but then the electronic material starts up and all hell literally breaks loose. While “Kingdom Nevercome” is actually a catchy song, and one of the very few songs, it’s also one of the only semi-original tracks on this release with many songs after that starting to become repetitive through the song’s musical and vocal structuring. However, while the structuring of the album may be rather similar throughout, it seems a wide vocal range was brought into this, and it just ushers in this whole other level of irritation. While the typical Melodic Death Metal screaming for everything but the chorus, which typically has clean singing vocals, there’s other styles incorporated, such as during “Neon Gardens” which will be where most listeners draw the line as soon as the vocals that are almost an exact duplicate to Chester of Linkin Park kick in. This different vocal style serves absolutely no point whatsoever to the album and winds up ruining the song completely. It’s also not just the vocal style of the band that seems to appear, but hints of Linkin Park can be found musically, such as during “Halo Meridian”. If that’s not enough, the next track “Snake of June” does break the mold a bit by having some more gutteral oriented vocals during the chorus, but at the same time those vocals, as well as the music used, sounds like a blatent Dark Tranquillity rip off.

Another element of repetition on this album is that practically every song starts out the exact same way. When the song kicks in, it’s heavy, then abruptly slows down for a clean sung chorus, then picks up a bit. You’ll pick up on this right away since this is how “Kingdom Nevercome” through “Snake of June” all start, with “Zeitgeist (Ghost in a Machine)” doing a similar musical structure, but the way it’s done makes it hard to lump in with these. This is the first track on here that will actually gives the listener a break from the horrendous repetition building from the start, and offers up a hint of originallity on the release since “Kingdom Nevercome”, which really isn’t all that original to begin with when you break down what the song sounds like and clearly is inspired by.

Really, there’s just not much about this album really worth going out of your way to hear. “Kingdom Nevercome”, “Zeitgeist (Ghost in a Machine)”, “10 Steps to Nausea” are really the only decent, enjoyable tracks on this release. Other then that, you are greeted with generic music that feeds off of a synthpop and mainstream Hard Rock with a deeply unoriginal sound. While there’s a good amount of bland tracks on here that really don’t do much for the listener, it’s rather funny listeningt o “Underneath These Burdens” and having the song just completely cut out as it’s starting to fade, as if the album itself had enough and skipped it for you. By this point, chances are the listener has had enough too if the disc is still in one piece after the musical abomination that is “Neon Gardens”, and if it’s not shattered by then out of anger, chances are the more generic Metalcore track “Babylon Riots” will push that last button in you, especially when it utilizes the heavier song start into a dropped slower build method that the first half, and some of the latter half, utilizes.

In short, Acedia is one of the most frustrating albums in the Melodic Death Metal field out there thanks to the way the songs are composed, the obvious influences by other bands put into play, vocal ranges used, and obvious repetition. While there are some good tracks, there’s practically no replay value to the album after that initial first spin, if you make it until the end of the CD that is anyway. The only real joy to be had with this album is the sigh of relief when the last song, “Myself Heretic”, fades to it’s close. With only “Kingdom Nevercome” actually worth spending any money on through an MP3 dealer, this album proves to be a joke thanks to all of it’s poor song writing faults, making this one CD you simply need to avoid all together.

01. Kingdom Nevercome – 4:32
02. Devote Yourself to Nothing – 4:07
03. Neon Gardens – 4:22
04. Snake of June – 4:05
05. Zeitgeist (Ghost in a Machine) – 3:16
06. 10 Steps to Nausea – 3:38
07. Halo Meridian – 4:22
08. Underneath These Burdens – 4:31
09. All the Unfullfilled – 3:36
10. Babylon Riots – 3:18
11. Myself Heretic – 4:16

Overall Score: 1.5/10
Dark Age (band)
Dark Age (logo)Digital review copy of this release provided by AFM Records via Earsplit PR.