Dark Avenger - X Dark Years
Megahard Records
Power Metal
5 songs (28'59)
Release year: 2003
Reviewed by Crims

X Dark Years is the new EP from Brazil’s Dark Avenger. This EP contains five songs, one of which is a mostly piano instrumental. Dark Avenger is a guitar driven Power Metal band that is firmly rooted in the 80’s school of riffs first Metal. I’ve always enjoyed this type of Metal and Dark Avenger have pulled it off nicely as all the required facets of a solid Power Metal CD are present.

One of the first things I took notice of with this release is the quality of the vocal performance from Mario Linhares: he has a tremendous range and has a really good tone and pitch, which at times contains a raw edge to it. He can definitely sing melodically, but he knows when to spice up the songs with a Kai Hansen-esque falsetto and phrasing. Most impressively, however, there is a short vocal passage in Uther Evil – Part II, where Linhares almost sounds like Chris Boltendahl of Grave Digger, which in itself is a feat. Complimenting the vocals is some impressive guitar work that ranges from Speed Metal riffs to harmonic leads that remain interesting and do not sound too clichéd. The atmosphere of the band is also noteworthy because they never sound overly happy or fun, but rather quite dark and heavy, which once again harkens back to classic American Power and Speed Metal (this is also helped by darker than normal synth work). Futhermore, the last track entitled, Unleash Hell, is one of the more original sounding songs in this style I’ve heard in awhile; the style of note progression in some of the riffs are almost Black Metal influenced and it gives the song a certain feel and melody that I found very appealing.

Even though this EP only features 3 songs that I would assume are representative of the bands style (the 2nd track is more of a ballad) I can easily say that X Dark Years has really peaked my interest in this band due to the vocals, riffs, and leads-a-plenty. As a bonus, most of the bands lyrical influence comes from Arthurian legend, which is an excellent choice. Aside from the somewhat odd choice of including a ballad on an EP the other three song choices are very wise as they showcase three distinct styles of song writing with the first track being rather progressive and 8 minutes in length; Uther Evil – Part II being more mid-paced and heavy in structure (though it does speed up a lot near the end); and of course Unleash Hell being more of a double bass/fast track. Brazilian Metal fans are probably already familiar with Dark Avenger but for the rest of you keep an eye out for this band and hopefully we’ll see a new-length in 2004.

Killing Songs :
Dark Avenger 2003, Uther Evil - Part II, Unleash Hell
Crims quoted no quote
Other albums by Dark Avenger that we have reviewed:
Dark Avenger - Dark Avenger reviewed by Danny and quoted 75 / 100
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