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Released: 2015, Self Released
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Dark Symphonica is probably the first symphonic metal band from Australia I have come across, and as the name suggests their music is both dark and symphonic. Unlike many other bands under the same label, their music doesn't immediately come across as uninspired and cloned.
The frenetic and rapidly changing composition points towards an After Forever influence, although the sound is a lot more intense and a lot darker. I can even hear some death influences coming through in the sound, which puts me in the mind of the Greek band Luna Obscura. It really does switch a lot, at times exploding into a power metal frenzy. The consistent darkness gives the music a gothic feel at times, but at others its pace and composition mean it doesn't sound gothic at all.
The vocals and the music seem to be on their own paths, being slightly detached and at times creating a dissonant feeling. Maybe that's partly intentional, but the mixing does seem to let the album down a lot – it's certainly not at it's optimum seeming very rough detracting from a could-be ethereal sound. Also, the style of the music leaves you waiting for death growls at times, but they never come.
The strong point of 'Immersion' is in its composition, which is varied, multi-layered and complex. It seems as though a lot of work has gone into it and the result is a captivating sound that can be listened to at many different levels with so much going on at once. Composition definitely comes above production, so the fact that it isn't too polished isn't a major issue.
At a time when symphonic metal has become nothing more than characterless heavy pop with orchestras thrown in, Dark Symphonica provide a much needed injection of energy into the genre. This is not just another clone band, and I'd recommend it to anyone who gave up on anything with that label in the early 2000s - when almost every band either started to sound the same or tried and failed at being the next Nightwish. I think that's the key to this album, it isn't trying too hard to be anything else.
Review by Jacob Ovington
1. Chains of Misfortune
6. Set Me Free
7. Goliath (Tyranny Part I)
Sam Wolstenholme: Lead Vocals.
Raouf Araji: Guitars.
Michael Gill: Bass.
Trystan Jongejan: Drums.
Nicholas Wilson: Keyboards.
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