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Darkwater: Calling the Earth to Witness

Perfectly named, Sweden's Darkwater makes brooding, undulating music in the vein of Evergrey and Symphony X. Neither are perfect reference points, however, as Darkwater manages to avoid the extreme aggression and anger of those two bands on their latest discs. Instead, Darkwater ventures deep into melodic progressive-metal territory via less threatening vocals and spacious arrangements that get thick but not dense. The band enlisted Goran Finnberg (known for his work with In Flames, Dark Tranquility and The Haunted) to master its debut CD, Calling the Earth to Witness, and its crisp production and mysterious artwork lend an air of professionalism.

With nine songs spread out over 68 minutes, Calling the Earth to Witness often seems mired in the same mid-tempo darkness, despite some incredibly effective soloing from guitarist Markus Sigfridsson and keyboardist Magnus Holmberg. The band breaks out of it occasionally, with vocalist Henrik Båth using a range of delivery emotions, but the a cappella treatment at the beginning of "Habit" represents the musical risks this band needs to take more often if Darkwater is to break the surface.

Track Listing:
1) 2534167 (Intro)
2) All Eyes On Me
3) Again
4) Habit
5) The Play I
6) The Play II
7) Shattered
8) Tallest Tree
9) In My Dreams

Added: December 11th 2007
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Darkwater Web Site
Hits: 5601
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Darkwater: Calling the Earth to Witness
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-12-11 06:44:13
My Score:

Calling the Earth to Witness is a very solid debut from progressive metal band Darkwater. Despite some initial nods to bands like Fates Warning, Dream Theater, and perhaps Evergrey, these guys have crafted a sound that should no doubt become more substantial with subsequent releases. Richly melodic both vocally and musically, with arrangements that at times are quite dense but feature plenty of guitar and keyboard solos (quite good ones I might add!), this is a CD that should appeal to any lover of the genre and is a good starting point for a band that seems to have a bright future ahead of them. Tracks like "Habit", "All Eyes on Me", and "Shattered" are instantly enjoyable and contain all the elements of what we love about prog-metal. Things never get too heavy here, nor do they get too symphonic, which is probably one of my small complaints, as the band never seem to want to take a chance at times and go for the juggular, opting instead to stay at a certain comfort zone throughout the CD. I'm sure in the future that's something that will just come naturally for this outfit, and then we could be looking at something extra special. For now, this is a very surprising and enjoyable debut.

» Reader Comments:

Darkwater: Calling the Earth to Witness
Posted by Lance King on 2007-12-14 15:15:55
My Score:

I'll admit, this is something that I'm somewhat tied too with regard to business, I own Nightmare and Nightmare does to the distribution for Darkwater's label 'Ulterium Records", However, that being said, I need to say, I love this album, it's simply great, a very mature effort, from extraordinarily gifted song writers and musicians. I personally applaud the effort to restrain the wankery of so many over progressive acts, these guys are very much a melodic metal band that are progressive, in that meaning they
don't overdue it constantly. The production on this discs is flawless and the talent abounds. Highly recommended as one of my favorite alongside the new DIMENSION, HEART OF SUN and DIVISION BY ZERO as my 3 fav's of 2007.

Darkwater: Calling the Earth to Witness
Posted by Gernot Zipperling on 2007-10-08 08:44:22
My Score:

I think this album is a very strong effort, though it´s not perfect I´d rate full 5 stars, because it´s their debut album.
For me it is perhaps the best album in 2007 so far; I was very dissapointed by a whole bunch of 2007 albums, namely Circus Maximus, Symphony X, DT, Poverty´s No Crime etc.

But this one has got everything: a perfect, powerful production (like mentioned);
strong melodies, but powerful riffs; strong vocals with a great range (mostly in
midrange tone, but very good (though not in a class of the Circus Maximus singer or
likewise) in the high regions too and it is indeed proggy: long songs with lots
of changes in rhythm/time signatures.

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