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Dark Quarterer - War Tears (7/10) - Italy - 1992/2007

Genre: Heavy Metal
Label: Evil Legend Records
Playing time: 49:39
Band homepage: Dark Quarterer

Tracklist:

  1. In The Beginning
  2. War Tears
  3. Nightmare
  4. Out Of Line
  5. Lady Scolopendra
  6. Darkness
  7. Lost Paradise
  8. A Prayer For Mother Teresa Of Calcutta
Dark Quarterer - War Tears

Formed all the way back in 1974, DARK QUARTERER was an Italian cult act, not unlike countrymen DEATH SS. It took them almost fifteen years to release their first album, they released their fourth (and last) in 1992, and they’re still actively playing shows. “War Tears” is their third studio album, originally released in 1991 but now re-released on I DON’T KNOW NOW. What makes this style of band so fun to review is that almost everytime I want to make a comparison, I realize that DARK QUARTERER has usually been around much longer. Let’s see how these veterans handle themselves.

 

Skip the intro. Really. “War Tears” (the track) is the first real song and it’s immediately obvious that DARK QUARTERER is a product of their times. Their style is a mix of pre-sell-out SCORPIONS and pre-“Number Of The Beast” MAIDEN that also reminds me at times of such modern retro-conscious acts as BIBLE OF THE DEVIL and 3 INCHES OF BLOOD. Especially remarkable in this comparison is vocalist Gianni Nepi, could best be described as about 2/3s Mike Scalzi (SLOUGH FEG, HAMMERS OF MISFORTUNE) with equal parts Ozzy (early 70s) and high Bruce Dickinson (early 80s). He’s got an interesting style, true, but he never lives up to the promise of any of those comparisons. “Out Of Line,” unfortunately, invites some Cam Pipes (3 INCHES OF BLOOD) comparison.

 

Enough of who it sounds like, is it any good? For the most part, yes  If you need a solid shot of down-to-earth, blue collar Heavy Metal the likes of THIN LIZZY and early MAIDEN, this will satisfy you immensely. The album does have its downs; I’ve yet to hear an interesting extended drum solo and “Out Of Line” (which I suppose is just a problematic track in general) does nothing to rectify. This style was already out by the time “War Tears” (the album) was released, replaced by the polarizing schools of Thrash and Hair Metal, but that doesn’t diminish DARK QUARTERER’s zeal. They love this style, popular or not, and it shows in their music. 

It’s also doubtful that the album would have sounded particularly unique even sixteen years ago on its release date, so that’s your trade off; retro fans will love it because it already feels so familiar, but how much mileage can you get out of an album that it already seems like you know? Still, I must say that “War Tears” grew on me immensely between the first time I heard it and now that I’m listening to it for the review. It’s a good album, but not enough so to find listeners outside of its genre’s fans.

(Online October 21, 2007)

Keith Stevens



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