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Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 19 July 2011
"Dark" is closely tied to another, better known, act from their native Northampton - the legendary "Wicked Lady" (The Axeman Cometh - more versatile and musically superiour), whose founder, Martin Weaver, knew Steve Giles (the founder of "Dark") from their school days.
"Dark" is often called by tone-deaf critics "melodic progressive rock", while in fact it is as close to progressive as Lady Gaga to Janis Joplin. The same concerns melodic. It is the heaviest possible psychedelia, minimalistic in its approach - no exotic instruments, no flower power, roaring guitars, depressive, brutal and menacing music built around self-repetitive, rather monotonous riffs. Although Alan Bowley, who was recording engineer of their debut album, calls it "the culmination of those two years of playing", "finest recording session" and "truly representative album" , the whole affair is quite messy, unsteady and inconsistent. In general it sounds as way too long jam or rehearsal - the musicians are learning few riffs, then repeatedly play them - ad nauseam - before moving to another limited set. For 1972 the album sounds out of time - these are bar bones of hard'n'heavy, without refined orchestration and musicianship of "Black Sabbath", let's say (it's more towards early "Iron Butterfly"). The singing of Steve Giles reminds exaggerated shaking voice of Marc Bolan from his happy hippie acousitic days. But, on the other hand, "Dark" was ahead of time - these are the roots of doom. The guitar of Martin Weaver provides occasional sparks of light in depressive darkness of the album, which lacks distinctive catchy tunes either.
The CD has 6 original songs (all penned by Steve Giles), and 4 bonus (recorded without Martin Weaver and Ronald Johnson).
These sounds still have some hypnotizing power over me, and if you are into hard'n'heavy of the 70s, - get it. Good stuff
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on 7 December 2015
Mainly bought this album for the track 'Maypole', but quite like the rest of the album too.
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