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Dark Lord was one of the most obscure bands we had in Italy. The term “obscure” reflects mostly their cult on the underground than their real music. Back at the beginning of the 80s, these guys were the dark creature in Italy, along with the doomy Black Hole and the macabre Death SS. All these bands were truly important for Italy to face the foreign panorama. Dark Lord never received the deserved attention and soon their efforts became like wanted relics for the collectors.
The very first effort by these great musicians was this EP in 1983. It was limited to 500 copies and now you can really imagine its rarity and its price that often reaches incredibly high peaks. The Dark Lord music was incredibly close to the very first attempt to play metal by the bands in the 70s. The Black Sabbath influences are present but not like in Black Hole band. Here the style is a bit more dynamic but the distortion of the instruments and the structures are bound to the very first lights of the naissance of something more extreme during the 70s-first 80s. We begin with “Lonely Ways” and its quite fast pace. The production is a bit low in volumes but always quite good and you shouldn’t care about these sounds when you listen to a jewel like this.
Some parts seem to melt the old school doom and the quite new NWOBHM down together. The riffs by Alex Masi are various and full of solos. The dark touch is present and the vocals are quite evocative but they also have a sort of gloomy tonality. Also the lyrics are not the classic ones about reflections or love but, instead, they are focused on the dark themes and “In the Middle of the Night” is here to bring more of it. The riffs seem to come out from a cave but the progression has even something of old Motorhead for the tempo and the heavy guitars. Here even the vocals are more rock ‘n’ roll style but also with a particular epic/obscure touch, getting closer to the atmosphere Venom created just a few years before.
“Satan’s Hammer” is a truly brutal song of primordial speed metal that was still, inevitably influenced again by what bands like Venom and Motorhead did in the recent past. The bass drums are pounding and the riffs still remain with their feet in the old scene of the years before and you can really hear it by the mid-paced breaks and the awesome amount of solos. The last “Dark Lord” song is a long track, full of dark overtures that go along with a more epic touch, especially by the refrain. The tempo is almost always quite fast, but the great break by the end is just made of obscure arpeggios to sustain the excellent, suggestive vocals, leading us to the end of this great and already mature effort that will forever remain on the immortal page of the Italian heavy metal.