DARKOLOGY — Altered Reflections (review)

DARKOLOGY — Altered Reflections album cover Album · 2009 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
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!
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