Dark Quarterer - Violence

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Andromeda Relics
Catalog Number: AND 07
Format: CD
Total Time: 48:04:00

Violence is Italian metal band Dark Quarterer's fourth album and their first for the newish Andromeda Relics label. Violence is also the common theme running through each of the album's six pieces. The most obvious examples are the battlefield set "To The Last Breath," where a battle between the forces of good and evil takes place, leaving good triumphing over evil, even though the warrior for good dies ? for good. The second example is the disturbing "Rape," which is told from the rapist's point of view. On the rest of the album violence isn't so nicely defined.

While this trio consists of drums, bass and guitar, it is the drums of Paolo Ninci that are often front and center, punching their way through the dense throb of Gianni Nepi's bass and guitarist Francesco Sozzi's tight, laser-precise guitar leads. In fact, it is Ninci that gets the album rolling with "Black Hole (Death Dance)" a piece that will have you thinking of Judas Priest a bit, though vocalist Nepi sounds more like Red Jasper's Davey Dodds than Rob Halford. After the first bit of this track though, we hear that Dark Quarterer's brand of metal is much darker, heavier, chuggier. A chorus of guest vocalists makes their sound bigger, epic. Sozzi bends and twists notes like the best of them, seemingly to take the leads around impossibly tight sonic corners.

There are classical Italian prog touches here, too, such as the flute that opens "To The Last Breath Musically, given the ah-ahing voices and the sparse arrangement, one thinks of the horror sound track work of fellow Italians Goblin. Though, within short order, heavy, slow grind takes over ? think early Threshold, down to the Wilson like vocals. Well, here Nepi sounds more like a hybrid of Dodds, Wilson and Fish with an accent ? a tone like Dodds', a soaring abandon like Wilson's, and a the "punctuative" (to coin a term) style of Fish.

"Deep Wake" reminds me of a more densely arranged Iron Maiden, though at about two-thirds of the way in, there's a more open, jazzy interlude, before Sozzi launches into another guitar solo though it is later, in "Rape," that Sozzi really lets loose, in a brutal instrumental passage that underscores why this album is entitled Violence. It is this violent, swirling instrumental passage that makes "Rape" the longest track at 12 minutes, the rest of the album's tracks average 7 minutes (though "Calls" is only a little over 2 minutes). "Calls," by the way, is a sparse, mostly acoustic piece that begins with Nepi on 12-string guitar (and, I believe, Sozzi on a classical guitar ? he is credited with one on the album).

Though Dark Quarterer are a metal band, in typical Italian style, they aren't just a metal band, bringing in textures and influences from a variety of sources, stirring them together into a potent elixir. Though some may not like the heavily accented vocals, other than blending together some of the lyrics, they fit right in with the music. Dark Quarterer are not plagued by the "good Italian band, bad vocalist" curse ? good band, good vocals, good album. Drill down into the music and you'll find many a tasty morsel. My only negative criticism is that I think the drums are a little to "up" in the mix, at times overdominating. But if you like a punchy sound, this'll be right up your alley. It's a release well worth checking out.

The Black Hole (Dance Of Death) (7:16) / To The Last Breath (9:50) / Deep Wake (9:07) / Calls (2:22) / Rape (12:03) / Last Song (8:06)

Francesco Sozzi ? electric and classical guitars
Paolo Ninci ? drums and percussion
Gianni Nepi ? vocals, bassl 12-string guitar (4)

Dark Quarterer (1987)
The Etruscan Prophecy (1989)
War Tears (1994)
Violence (2002)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin IT

Added: May 4th 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.darkquarterer.com
Hits: 1430
Language: english


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