Darkwell - Metatron
Napalm Records
Gothic Metal from Austria
10 songs (43:26)
Release year: 2004
Darkwell, Napalm Records
Reviewed by Jeff

Just recently I was asking myself what was up with Darkwell. It's been a while since they released any new material. It just so happened that my Metal Reviews teammate Jack told me we received the latest promo by this Gothic Metal outfit, entitled "Metatron".

I was really looking forward to a new Darkwell release. I really enjoyed "Suspiria" and "Conflict of Interest". I must say that after listening to "Metatron", I'm a little disappointed. One of the first things I noticed about "Metatron" was the change in vocalists. In 2003, Darkwell separated from their former singer Alexandra due to personal and musical difficulties. I really liked Alexandra's voice on the albums "Suspiria" and "Conflict of Interest". It was very unique and distinct sounding. She sang like an angel and sounded haunting at times with her female soprano vocals. I felt she gave the band a dark, atmospheric feel and identity. That is not to say that new vocalist Stephanie Luzie is any less the vocalist that Alexandra is. In fact, Stephanie has a much better tone, range and vocal delivery. When she sings you can tell that she is putting effort behind her pipes. She also has a vibrato to her voice that at times becomes tedious yet this siren's voice has beauty and is seductive. I also feel that Stephanie gives Darkwell a more commercial sound. In fact, Darkwell does a cover of the Simple Minds "Don't You (Forget About Me)". Darkwell are are starting to sound like a cheaper version of Nightwish.

This is probably Darkwell's best produced album to date. The keyboards and vocals dictate the melody lines while the drums, bass and rhythm guitars help drive the music. Still, after several listens, this album fails to really grab me like the first two releases. I have a hard time trying to get used to Stephanie's vocals. Overall, the music doesn't sink in as much and is not as memorable. There aren't any songs that really stand out for me. Somehow the "dark feel" of Darkwell's music is missing. Unlike "Suspiria", there are no complimentary male baritone vocals or spoken voice to be found on "Metatron".

I would suggest that one sample a few tracks from "Metatron" before purchasing. An album such as this might have good production values and strong musical performances, but these important factors are only conduits to help convey the musical ideas created by musicians. These means of interpretation can only be merited if the ideas created are well thought out and coherent. Those ideas have to be put together in such a way that the melody lines and structure of the music will stick with the listener and make them want to come back for more. I feel Darkwell failed where this is concerned. I hope Darkwell reevaluates the direction they are taking.


Killing Songs :
The majority are just average
Jeff quoted 60 / 100
Other albums by Darkwell that we have reviewed:
Darkwell - Conflict of Interest reviewed by Jeff and quoted 80 / 100
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