Saturday, December 11, 2010
The hipster town of Portland, Oregon, is not the place one might expect to find a metal band as straightforward, bullshit-free and traditional as Darkblack, but here we are. Midnight Wraith is five fist-raising, sword-swinging, fire-eating epic anthems that come on like hair metal, grunge, blackened death and whatever that shitty hip-hop/metal hybrid Limp Bizkit played never happened. Taking off from the sound of NWOBHM but giving it a gritty, American spin – analogous to 80s metal gods like Trouble and Cirith Ungol – Darkblack blazes through the firmament with knotty guitar riffs, thundering rhythms, squealing solos and a soaring vocalist just that side of intelligible. Power Monger, Golden Idol and the title track will make you want to buy a blue jean jacket just so you can sew Darkblack’s patch on it. Put these guys on tour with Iron Maiden or Metallica and watch the headbanging hoards fall to their knees in gratitude.
- Michael Toland