Broken Arrow - Abyss Of Darkness

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Scarlet Records
Catalog Number: SC 064-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 42:21:00

Before getting stuck into the CD proper, let's get the trivialities out of the way first. Firstly, this is not related to the John Travola/Christain Slater shocker. Yes, an obvious assumption but in the wake of some terrible movie releases of late, this just had to be mentioned [you're an idiot - PPO Ed.]. Secondly, how many caricatured breasts can a band fit onto a CD sleeve? Just ask Broken Arrow because their debut album features a plethora of said cartooned breasts for your eye-candy enjoyment [get on with it - (PPO) Non-Sexist Ed.]. They are nice, though.

Whilst Scarlet Records are pushing them as some sort of power metal with epic atmospheres, do take that with a grain of salt because this band has more in common with easy-listening melodic prog bands such as Anguish, Xteria, Mind Odyssey, and at times Secret Sphere. Whilst those bands aren't the most recognisable on the planet, Broken Arrow have put together a quality metal album that has a lot going for it. For starters, the only recognisable name is that or guitarist Nick Savio (B.B. Nick) who people may know from the power metal band White Skull (he has quit that band) and the melodic hard rock band Vicious Mary (which also features Eldritch members). The guitars on this are prominent with plenty of catchy, if standard, soloing reminiscent of Savio's past achievements. Also prominent is their vocalist Dave Baduena. He is a vocalist who captures the width of breadth of metal covering the aggressive and the smooth - all with melody in mind. He kind of reminds of the vocalist of Sculpture (Lotte) and a bit of Peavy Wagner (Rage) when he is in the more aggressive, hard-hitting melodies but the smoothness brings to mind singers like Xteria (Massimo Ordine) and Anguish (whose name is too long too include here - heh-heh). He has such an Italian thing going that it's just perfect. Sometimes their accents hit the right note and Dave certainly hits the right notes.

With such a vocal range, Abyss Of Darkness is also quite a diverse sounding album. From the melodic hard rock song "Stalingrad" (which does sound like Xteria) to the rough-cut of "Invisible Heroes"; it's great the band have thrown so much into a debut album. "The Call" is the most power metal oriented track with heavy beats (courtesy of Vicious Mary drummer Camillo Colleluori), a driving, rhythmic guitar and more traditional power metal structures. It's the band at their heaviest but in my opinion vocally one of the weakest songs. They are much better delivering the more melodic progressive elements of their inimitable sound such as the opening title-track. To conclude, the band have added "Isaac Story - Part I and II"; a flowing, powerful duo with some extremely wild guitar solos and the finest vocals on the album.

Weak points? Nothing really stands out in my opinion, so it comes down to how much you like bands who write uncomplicated progressive metal music with a heavy focus on the melodies. 3 Stars is probably being too harsh for a band that delivers a quality metal album but it comes down to a flowing, controlled album versus diversity. Anyway, got to end this review now. Going to listen to those last two tracks again.

Similar To: Anguish, Xteria, Mind Odyssey

[This review originally appeared June 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Abyss Of Darkness / Invisible Heroes / The Gothic Line / Angels Of Fire / Stalingrad / The Call / Frozen Tears / Isaac Story (Part I) / Isaac Story (Part II

Giulio Bogoni - keys
Steve Balocco - bass
Camillo Colleluori - drums
Dave Baduena - voice
Nick Savio - guitar

Abyss Of Darkness (2003)

Genre: Melodic Metal

Origin IT

Added: December 8th 2004
Reviewer: Gary Carson
Artist website:
Hits: 930
Language: english


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