Dark Avenger – Tales Of Avalon: The Lament
Reviewed by Christopher Foley
Brazil’s Dark Avenger is an act I’d been meaning to check out, but such is the hectic schedule of your British power metal scribe that it’s only now I hear these guys. What better opportunity than with their current opus and third effort; Tales Of Avalon: The Lament. It’s with some frequency I cover Brazilian acts, and Dark Avenger, much like countrymen Lothlöryen, distance themselves from the prevalent genre trends in their homeland.
Dark Avenger’s sound is one I’d class as epic, a word oft thrown around too willy-nilly for my liking, but apt here. Yeah, these guys dish out the big pummelling riffs which owe more to the likes of classic American and British acts as opposed to the Euro-power Helloween tend to answer for. The only tying factor to the lighter side of the power metal spectrum comes in the synth and key overtones – as well as the odd harpsichord – which adorn the band’s largely riff-based formula.
Mário Linhares is a good singer, and can offer a gruff performance when necessary, but he feels most comfortable in his commanding higher register, which sounds both well practiced and performed. In “The Knight On the Hill”, Mário displays the peaks of his talent in a professional performance which recalls the likes of Lance King when he was with Balance Of Power. Basically if you take the Dio-influenced school of talent a là Urban breed and mix in with the Geoff Tate school you’ll have a good indicator as to the vocal quality contained within Dark Avenger. Whilst on the subject of vocals, if you have an aversion to child choirs then don’t even bother with “Can You Feel It?”, a complete and utterly skip-worthy endeavour.
For the most part, the rest of the material here is quite solid. Although at times I feel that the band slows down a little too much for its own good. It seems like a dusty, archaic, Tad Morose style atmosphere was intended, and the end result comes off more plodding as opposed to involving. Luckily this issue isn’t too prevalent, and whilst the pacing is more a march than a sprint; it never becomes a chore to listen to. Partly thanks to good riffs, but mainly thanks to engaging vocals and cracking guitar solos.
Dark Avenger falls into a relatively obscure niche however. Its a little too meaty and slow to fit into the Euro-power crowd, and a little fluffier (child choir!) than what would sate the palette of the “true/epic metal” champion. If there’s a middle-ground in your taste – one which I certainly have – then I can assure there’s material worth enjoying here. If not, you can likely give this one a miss. Solid and well performed, but lacking a true igniting spark.
3.0 // 5