DARKOLOGY
Progressive Metal • United States

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Darkology are an American progressive metal band with power metal influences hailing from Dallas, Texas. That band was formed in 2004 by brothers Michael and Brian Harris, who then recruited high school friend Mike Neal on bass and former Beyond Twilight vocalist Kelly "Sundown" Carpenter.

The band released their debut album, Altered Reflections in 2009 through Rock-a-holics Records, making it the first ever release through the label.

A second album, Fated to Burn, was released in 2015, now through Prime Eon Media Ltd.

- Updated June 2015 by adg211288.
Thanks to Time Signature for the addition and colt, adg211288 for the updates

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DARKOLOGY Discography

DARKOLOGY albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.63 | 12 ratings
Altered Reflections
Progressive Metal 2009
.. Album Cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Fated to Burn
Progressive Metal 2015

DARKOLOGY EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Tour EP 2014
Progressive Metal 2014

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DARKOLOGY Reviews

DARKOLOGY Fated to Burn

Album · 2015 · Progressive Metal
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adg211288
Fated to Burn (2015) is the second full-length studio album by US progressive metal act Darkology. This release has been quite long awaited as it's been six years since the band made their debut with Altered Reflections (2009). It's a similar situation to another band of guitarist Michael Harris, Thought Chamber, who released their debut Angular Perceptions (2007) and then also did not follow it up for six years, until they released Psykerion (2013) with a largely new line-up. Darkology however have kept the same four piece band together that made Altered Reflections; Michael Harris on guitars, brother Brian Harris on drums, Mike Neal on bass, and Kelly 'Sundown' Carpenter on vocals.

The music on Fated to Burn continues the power metal influenced progressive metal sound of Altered Reflections. Compared to the first album I hear quite a bit more power metal techniques being used although I would still say that Fated to Burn is primarily a progressive metal record. My initial experience with the two albums has been pretty different though. Altered Reflections was a killer record, the rare kind that instantly earned it five stars from me and it wasn't a flash in the pan kind of experience; I still regard it as one of the best albums of 2009. Such an album was always going to be a tough act to follow, no matter how long it took Darkology and Fated to Burn didn't leave such a strong first impression. The second half of the album seemed stronger than the first, like it was getting off to a slow start, with the first really excellent track being The Shadows of Oth, which is still a favourite of mine from the album along with the closing nine minute epic Nightmare King. I even thought that the opening Kill Me If You Can was especially not up to scratch. The first half has grown on me with each listen though, especially Kill Me If You Can, so I would still say that Darkology have done a good job and put out a worthy and consistent follow-up, though overall slightly lesser than Altered Reflections.

To expand on that, it's like that even though there are more power metal elements being used, it does seem to me that Fated to Burn doesn't have quite the same punch as the debut did. I think that the biggest draw to the album would have to be Kelly Carpenter's excellent, powerful vocals which remain on the same level I'm used to from Altered Reflections and also from Beyond Twilight's Section X (2005). The band remain well playing but the same spark seems to be missing. Maybe it's because I already know what to expect from Darkology now so they've lost a bit of the initial wow factor, but then again maybe not; it wasn't that long ago that I re-listened to the debut after quite a while without hearing it and it still blew me away just as much.

Fated to Burn is still excellent though and despite some lower first impressions it's worked its way up to a higher regard from me, but ultimately it's not a masterpiece like their debut was. I'm not disappointed, not at least now that the first half of the album has had time to grow on me. It may not surpass the debut and it may indeed be a small step backwards from it, but it does ultimately show that Altered Reflections wasn't a complete fluke. 4.5 stars.

DARKOLOGY Altered Reflections

Album · 2009 · Progressive Metal
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siLLy puPPy
This is the album that Judas Priest wanted to make after “Painkiller” but never quite managed to do so. The debut album by DARKOLOGY definitely takes a few cues from the pages of the Priest playbook but they go above and beyond the call of duty to make a album much more the sum of the many influences that I can detect and for sure a few more that I cannot. This band comes from Dallas, TX and is the creation of brothers Michael (guitar, keyboards) and Brian Harris (drums). They recruited Mike Neal on bass and the vocal shredder Kelly “Sundown” Carpenter who nails the old school operatic metal technique like nobody's business. In fact he sounds like a biological amalgamation of Rob Halford, his successor The Ripper and a soul singer like James Brown all rolled into one super-singin' extravaganza.

The album is a bonafide journey through the metal universe incorporating a gazillion influences in its wake and guaranteed to dig its ear worm hooks into your metal psyche and reel you in like a helpless little fishy snatched from a frigid cold Alaskan lake. If you want to know what's good about this album the you can safely check “all of the above.” The musicianship? Outstanding! The compositions? Fantabulous!! The production? Stupendous!!! This album is simply fine tuned to the point where no stone was left unturned in finding an entertainment value that keeps the listener engaged from beginning to end.

True it is that the influences can be a little strong. There is the obvious Judas Priest extenuation that seems like the “Jugulator” album in another dimension where it evolved differently only to burrow into our time and place in 2009, but there are also Iron Maiden gallops, Bumblefoot guitar solos, thrashy riffs and power metal over-the-top developments but everything seems to balance out in the end and despite the knowledge of these obvious influences I still find this a compelling listen that beckons me for returned listens often. And not only do I want to put this album on but I want to play it in its entirety. That rarely happens these days as I listen to so very much music but occasionally an album finds the tenacity to burrow deep into my inner playlist and have staying power. And so it is with this one. Great band, great sound and you should check them out NOW!

DARKOLOGY Altered Reflections

Album · 2009 · Progressive Metal
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adg211288
Altered Reflections is the debut album from Darkology, a progressive metal act featuring some established names from the progressive metal scene, such as band mastermind Michael Harris (Arch Rival, Thought Chamber et all) and features the vocals of Kelly ‘Sundown’ Carpenter, previously heard singing with Beyond Twilight and Outworld. Brian Harris (brother of Michael) and Mike Neal completely the line-up.

After a short intro track (I make no secret of hating intro tracks and to be honest this is no exception, but for this album I’ll make an exception and let that pass based on just how strong the actual songs are, it is pointless, yes, but this album has the strengths to allow that to slide), Violent Vertigo bursts out of the speakers with an insanely awesome riff, which sets the standard for the rest of the album. While many progressive bands (rock or metal) employ the use of keyboards, Darkology’s music is all about the heaviness of the guitars and the complexity of the riffs. It's definitely progressive metal, but it could easily also be considered technical metal even though that's not a tag I'd encourage use of. Sundown’s vocals fit into the mix really well, giving them that sort of epic sound associated with power metal, so it would be fair to brand them as progressive power metal but it’s my personally opinion that the vocals is as far as the power metal part of Darkology goes, the music is prog all over.

I would normally separate a few highlights from an album to talk about right about now, but that is very difficult to do with Darkology’s Altered Reflections, simply because, intro track aside, this album does not have a single flaw within its nine songs. Every track is as addictive as the last and each has its own identity, which considering that the band do not fall into the type of progressive metal that hops between different genres (like Ayreon, for example); always applying the same winning formula to the writing, just goes to show how well they’ve put this album together. Best I can do is to list my favourites, and these even took several listens to finally settle upon - Dark Energy, Eyes of Argus, Aura of Xhad and Revitalize.

This is going to be an album that I will continue to listen to for a long time. Some albums can be heard, played a few times and then forgotten for a long time until you suddenly get the urge to hear it again, and then that cycle will begin again. This definitely isn't one of those in my opinion. I hope these guys stick around, because as great as Altered Reflections is it is so tantalisingly good that I need more from them, but at the same time this is a band that have set their own standard so high with their debut album I'm really not sure how they'll ever be able to top this.

(Review originally written for Heavy Metal Haven)

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