Dagorlad – The End Of The Dark Ages

I never got deeply into Bal-Sagoth, so it makes sense that a Bal-Sagoth clone would capture my attention even less than the original.  ‘The End Of The Dark Ages’ is the sound of a band desperately striving to be epic but having no idea of how to do that aside from through the empty mimicry of other epic bands.  It’s vacuous music to the point where I seriously can’t remember anything about it even after a dozen listens.  It’s that boring.  Dagorlad doesn’t even really sound like Bal-Sagoth, they just sound like a weird attempt at sounding exactly like that band.  It’s like when you were a little kid and your cheapass parents bought you bootleg toys from Mexico, so you had to get dressed up in your Spaderman pajamas with a black scorpion in the center.  The experience of listening to this album is equally unsatisfying.

This shit’s really stale.  Plodding mid-paced blackish/symphonic metal with dramatic narration in what seems like every second of the album.  The production is very flat and lifeless to the point where it doesn’t even seem like music half the time, just instruments shuffling around in a sort of melodic fashion.  There’s no aggression or intensity, but it doesn’t feel restrained, it just feels… tired, like the band recorded the whole thing after two and a half days with no sleep.  They’re phoning everything in.  There’s a lot of keys and synthestra that attempt to sound epic but really just sound like the soundtrack to a pulp fantasy novel, and not in a good way, just a generic way.  Riffs are three-chord tremolo or chug affairs that meander under the keyboards like aardvarks just sort of trundling around without incident.

I don’t get the point of this, it sounds like the band just wants to say “FUCK IT, I’M DONE WITH THIS” all throughout the record but plod on without any enthusiasm.  It’s not like the songwriting is even good; I think like 70% of the album is totally devoid of drums (or drum machine, rather, which makes no attempt to sound lifelike), just guitar/keyboards/bad narration.  It’s an attempt at narrative songwriting that just cocks itself up over and over again.  Who’s the audience here?  People who want a mediocre version of Bal-Sagoth to ween their grandmas off of Perry Como?  Really, who wants to listen to this?  It’s not HORRIBLE, but it’s entirely uninteresting.

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~ by noktorn on June 6, 2008.

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