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White Skull - The Dark Age (7,5/10) - Italy - 2002

Genre: Power Metal
Label: Frontiers Records
Playing time: 52:21
Band homepage: White Skull

Tracklist:

  1. Penitenziagite
  2. The Dark Age
  3. Grand Inquisitor
  4. Maid Of Orleans
  5. New Crusade
  6. The Edict
  7. Voice From The Heaven
  8. Devil´s Woman
  9. Torture
  10. A New Handbook
  11. Sentence Of Death
  12. Theme For The Innocence
White Skull - The Dark Age
WHITE SKULL, that's been Federica De Boni, a female singer with a great, rough, but still melodic voice, now we have a certain Gustavo Adrian Galbano on the mic, an Argentine, and he has a really big heritage to follow up, so let's take a listen, eh?

Well, musically there hasn't much changed, heavy, melodic Power Metal with a certain symphonic element, not the usual Italian sound, not as polished, as well in the music as in Gustavo's vocals, which masters as well the crystal-clear sound up to the Metal-screams of the classics.

The album itself is a concept-album about the Middle Ages and the crimes of the inquisition, interesting stuff (which would be even more interesting, if I had the lyrics...), which musically also has been transferred adequately, no, not with instruments or melodies from that time, but in terms of atmosphere that these songs bear in them.

So, this reads like the perfect album for Alex, eh? Well, basically yes, but I have the problem that the album doesn't fully ignite. Songs as "The Dark Age", "The Edict", "Devil's Woman" or "Torture" partly even enthuse me, with great arrangements, very well and song-serviceably used keyboards, very good choirs, not as overblown as with others, but altogether more powerful, darker, fuller, everything partly done really dramatically, with a great union of lead- and rhythm guitars, keyboards and choir-arrangements, just great!

Now where is the "BUT"? I am not really sure what I should mention here, because it is really hard to put into words. Here and there the dynamics take a little off-time, which is a point that is not the case too often, but still it sometimes creates a hole in the song, which you fall into. Rather it is the vocals of Senor Galbano, who has its very own timbre (here and there reminding me of the Japanese of VOLCANO), which in combination with the sometimes a little too rough vocals takes away quite a bit of the oomph of the WHITE SKULL-songs.

Altogether still the strengths absolutely prevail, which sometimes only get clear after a few repeated listens, which are absolutely worth it. Sure not a really unclichéd album, but who could imagine a mix of Italien Epic Power Speed and a band like GRAVE DIGGER, is right with WHITE SKULL, even though they cannot reach the big ones. And those songs with Federica on the mic... (Online October 30, 2002)

Alexander Melzer



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