"The Mechaphysik" (Love Muffin; 2011)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

The Darker Shore's CD Baby Artist page states "Recommended if you like: Dio, Iron Maiden, Tool" and there are certainly hints of those artists throughout "The Mechaphysik." At times, the lead vocalist displays a little of the soaring power of Ronnie James Dio, the bass regularly gallops along like an Iron Maiden classic and the tracks all have that serious progressive drive to them, just like Tool. But it's never all of those things at once; in other words, it's not a carbon copy of those bands.

Mostly, The Darker Shore sounds like The Darker Shore. The music is heavy (and I mean heavy) and the tracks are often slow and deliberate. Even when the band speeds up with that galloping bassline, nothing ever gets quite up to the speed of, say, Iron Maiden's "The Trooper," but instead sort of simmers and burns and oozes atmosphere. In fact, my favorite track, "Dark House," is an almost twelve minute epic journey that takes its time unspooling to its blistering finale, bringing to mind longer tracks like The Doors' classic "The End."

I can see where this may not be some people's cup of tea. "The Mechaphysik's" inherent heaviness is also gloomy and a bit sludgy and fans of fast, sleek metal should look elsewhere. If you're a fan of the more atmospheric metal, however, this CD by The Darker Shore might be just what you're looking for.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2012 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 26 Sep 2022 12:18:30 -0400.