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Dark Age – Minus Exitus - 95%

vmt02, May 14th, 2008

Oh my god, Eike, you and your Dark Age companions compose unbelievable impelling music! The last self titled work was already outstanding but this time I am not only convinced by your ability in playing but the numerous details in peculiar.

The band masters the gamble of contrast in formidable style without doubt! Evidently the artists took a lot of time for the well elaborated vocal lines and offer a lot of interesting variation. The spectrum ranges from nice clear vocals over aggressive Thrash screeches to dark Death growls. Many refrains like the one appearing in the track The Dying Art Of Recreation, find their way to my memory easily and stay there irresistibly. In the title it is stated that the art of recreation dies – but how the hell should someone sit quietly and relax while listening to such great refrains? You know the answer by yourself: compulsive drums merged with driving guitars are a guarantee for every melodic Death Metal addict to bang his head in ecstasy! In addition this work gets upgraded by throttling speed through a short bass solo which means a perfect arrangement. Afterwards tempo gets faster and I am surprised by heavy starting song Exit Wounds inhering uncommon and self-reliant melodic voice lines and a chorus that is not ordinary contributing a lot to Dark Age’s polarization.

In further course I appreciate the fantastic guitar work peppered with a lot of delicacies. Thereby the very interesting Instrumental piece attracts my attention. Named one does not get boring at all despite its length. In all, music oscillates between catchy head banger’s nutriment, gentle intermezzi and fast as an arrow attacks. Minus Exitus turns out to be an extraordinary top-class goody – not only for the moment but deploying an enormous long term effect because of its richness in details. Some electronic elements are integrated perfectly so that Dark Age create a voluminous and mighty sound, which is not overloaded fortunately and delights the listener’s heart.

Minus? Exitus? By no means! Dark Age are as fresh as a daisy and ready to take a huge step up to the top!

Urgh - 45%

Aetheraeon, March 2nd, 2008

No. Just no. That is all that can be said about this album as far as I am concerned. I tried, honestly, I did try and pretty hard too, but there really is not all much about this album that I find attractive or interesting. “Minus Exitus” is already the fifth full-length effort by this German melodic death metal outfit and judging by the music that they have come up with on this album, I am not too surprised I had never heard about this band before receiving the promo. For anyone that wants a short summary of the rest of the review; the album contains 12 songs (or some 50 minutes) of music that is utterly predictable and never comes anywhere near memorable or exciting.

Melodic death with some pretty strong metalcore tendencies would probably be the clearest way to describe this album. The guitars play anything from up-tempo rhythms to slow start-stop riffs, but there is none of it is really surprising and none of it made me want to go back and listen to the album again. There are too many songs on the album where the guitars keep playing sustained notes and there is not much else going on. Basically, this sounds like an album that would be played heavily on MTV. The bass guitar is inaudible and the drums are pretty generic, consisting mostly of short double bass taps and straightforward playing. A lot of songs have rather throwaway choruses put in somewhere and of course there will be people calling the choruses catchy, but they are just too mundane and poppy for a metal band to get away with this. And to top it all off, the album ends with a cover of U2’s ‘October’, which is probably the most surprising thing that occurs on the entire CD and not all that bad.

“Minus Exitus” is not a very good album in that there are no surprises and nothing that will be turning any heads. Not even using a sample of Morgan Freeman in ‘Se7en’ (on the song ‘Seven’…) or Niklas Sundin’s disappointing artwork can save this album. There might be something in here that will appeal to fans of bands like In Flames or Dark Tranquillity. I just would not really want to risk recommending this to anyone. If you do end up liking this, you might be happy to know that there will be a special edition with a bonus DVD containing footage of a live show. Buy at your own risk, though.