I really enjoyed the first Dark Element album. I was hoping that it would not be just a one-time, studio-only project as many of these Frontiers things seem to be. Thankfully in late 2019 my hopes were confirmed and The Dark Element released their sophomore effort, SONGS THE NIGHT SINGS.
The band is still on Frontiers and there has been only one line-up change, drummer Jani Hurula was replaced by Rolf Pilve (Stratovarious). This loosens the connection to Cain’s Offering a bit because on the debut album it was basically Cain’s Offering with Annette on vocals instead of Timo Kotipelto. As a side note I hope Cain’s Offering is still an active project and doesn’t get consumed by the popularity of The Dark Element. Sonically the bands are quite similar, although The Dark Element is a bit more gothic and as one might expect, darker.
In comparison to the previous album, there has been no progression or evolution in the bands sound and that is not necessarily a bad thing. Annette’s voice still soars and the band produce the highest calibre melodic Metal imaginable. There isn’t quite the big bombastic ‘hit’ like ‘My Sweet Mystery’ was on the debut album but the track ‘Silence Between The Words’ comes close. Another highlight for me is the cut, ‘Pills On My Pillow’ with it’s darker more introspective lyrics. I know it is a bit trite to compare the band to Nightwish, but perhaps it is inevitable because of the connection of the former singer. She really shines on the slower, piano ballad ‘I Have To Go’, a wistful and engaging song of love and loss.
SONGS THE NIGHT SINGS is another winner from these collaborators. Crystal clear production, great sounds, tempo and energy all combine in one great package.