For ten years now Brazilian DARK AVENGER are ploughing through the Metal scene and after two albums ("Dark Avenger" and "Tales Of Avalon") they decided to take this anniversary and release an EP titled "X Dark Years" with one re-recorded song, two new tracks and one, where the info does not say anything, where it is from.
"Dark Avenger 2003" is, not completely surprising, a newly recorded version of the DARK AVENGER song "Dark Avenger" off the album "Dark Avenger" from 2000. The song itself has not really changed, the production, though, has a lot, with some real power and fat, bringing the assets of the song and the band to the fore. DARK AVENGER definitely are not standard Power Metal, for that the song structures are a bit too progressive at times, yet without ever getting really complex, then they mix European and American Power Metal and most of all it is singer Mario Linhares' (who also is responsible for the Brazilians' artwork) voice that successfully defies the categorisation as "typical".
"Caladvwch" is completely acoustic, with strings and Mario's characteristic voice, very emotional and not kitschy, good track, before the two-part "Utther Evil" searches for our ears, the first part purely piano and without a doubt heavily influenced by classical composers, while the second part brings us more of the regular DARK AVENGER sound, again more on the demanding side of Power Metal and at the same time very variable, so that you can always be surprised by a surprising twist, raises the hopes for a hopefully soon upcoming third album. Leaves "Unleash Hell" and who now expects a fast, double-bass-driven cracker won't be disappointed, straight and powerful the song blows through the speakers and here you will really show, if your ears are compatible with Mario Linhares, I like his voice, because it does not sound like all the others (and on the side also is damn good).
I don't know, how much they will charge for "X Dark Years", but if that one is right, then I just have to recommend this MCD of DARK AVENGER, for the contained material is, just like their debut (I do not know the second album, unfortunately), beyond doubt and offers pretty original Power Metal, which is hard to measure by usual standards. Great. (Online February 8, 2004)