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Darkwater – Where Stories End: Review

December 1, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Darkwater released their latest album called Where Stories End on November 12. It is of the progressive metal genre, but leaning towards the darker side. There are definitive elements of Dream Theater and other progressive metal bands. For that reason, many are sure to like it. But for that same reason, few are bound to love it.

The Music (rating: B)

  1. Breathe
  2. Why I Bleed
  3. Into the Cold
  4. A Fool’s Utopia
  5. Queen of the Night
  6. In the Blink of an Eye
  7. Fields of Sorrow
  8. Without a Sound
  9. Walls of Deception

As said before, Where Stories End draws influences from the likes of Dream Theater and similar bands. Not so much from the early catalog, but from later albums as Octavarium. However, it has the heavier tone of bands such as Evergrey and Creation’s End, whose album I reviewed earlier this month. There are a few softer sections interjected on occasion throughout the album’s dominant heaviness. Its overall style produces a safe, enjoyable listen to the fans of the progressive metal genre.

However, there seems to be much too strong a focus on retaining the style that it causes the tracks to sound much too similar for the album’s own good. Where Stories End is not a record that can truly grip a listener, but it is sufficient in the background. After all the booming power chord riffs and powerful, basic drum rhythms, it is difficult to keep interest. Also, the songs are much too long for what is warranted by the music. It is as though they are merely long to satisfy the classification of “progressive”. The transitions within songs are unnoticed, as opposed to seamless, mainly due to how consistent the tone and general sound are throughout whole songs. Where Stories End is like a bunch of grapes; you have a large quantity of them, but they are virtually indifferent from one another.

There are no real complaints with the instrumental performance, per say. The issue arises mainly from the creative side of things. Most of what is given has been done many times before. Not only that, it is often of the less intriguing side of things and is mainly filler power chord riffing. In fact, it seems like every band member gives good instrumental support. But who do they support? It causes the music to feel like it is missing something essential. But again, I should stress that the instrumentals are far from bad. Basically, there is no instrument that truly has the spark or spontaneity to catch or hold an audience.

Where Stories End is a decent album, but far from an ageless one. Its major downfalls are its lack of innovation, inspiration, and variation. But on the upside, the instrumentals are good and it stays very loyal to its genre; for a progressive metal fan, it is enjoyable. Unfortunately, outside of the target community, I would not recommend this album.

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