It’s always nice to be asked by a band by name to review their next recording which was the case when German band Darkride informed me of their self produced debut album Weight of the World. Even though the band are at the early stage of their career, the three core members (vocalist Carsten and guitarists Dirk and Kay) already have amassed a reputation that enlists high profile members of the metal community to its ranks as guest musicians. Guests such as current Megadeth drummer Dirk Verbeuren, Dying Fetus drummer Kevin Talley and DGM guitarist Simone Mularoni amongst a host of others add their own take to the songs. As diverse as these guests musicians are, this does not pigeonhole Darkride into one genre of music but instead amalgamates genres and makes them into an overall more powerful beast.
Take for example opening track and debut single “Hammer Down” which has an electronic dance feel to it before a nice melodic guitar riff and Dirk from Megadeth adds the most welcome of drum beats. Carsten’s vocals then come in and are a mixture of clean and slightly rough vocals adding diversity to the song. The song is a more mid-paced affair with the main riffs adding power to the song but adding early In Flames melodic touches to the riffs are the stand out where the guitars are concerned in this song. Guitar solos courtesy of Simone are rife throughout the song and add a power metal feel to the song. Remember what I said about not sticking to one genre of music. Opening riff of “Blood of my Soul” is a thrash assault and was actually the first song ever written by the band and a complete contrast to the opening song but most welcome.
Personal highlight of the album, and the second single, “Burning Bridges” starts off in a much more aggressive fashion with nice double bass drumming in particular. A common theme within Darkride’s formula is for the chorus to lift the music slightly and for Carsten once again to display his stunning vocal style. But it’s at 1.20 when this metal manic raises a smile with death metal style riffs and incessant double bass and fast drumming and hearing Carsten at his roughest. Around the chorus there are countrymen Helloween in parts with the song coming to a theatrical end. How can you have so many genres in the one song without it sounding chaotic?
One of Darkride’s strengths is the melodies used throughout the album and one perfect example is the melody within “Generation under Fire” which has one of the best melodic riffs on the album. Darkride have a formula and they stick to it, well why shouldn’t they when its a winning formula? They may not be to technical with the main riffs of the songs but clear vocals over these melodies shows excellent musicianship throughout. The next song to really grab is “Piece of Me” where special mention must be given to the variety in the vocal delivery from Carsten, from clear and high vocals to the more rough and mixing things well. There elements of the mighty Meshuggah in the riffing style through many parts of the album but they are much more prevalent throughout this song.
“Dogs of War” is certainly going to be the song that will get the crowd in the live environment with its “hey” chorus and riffs that will surely keep the pit alive at the same time. Title track “Weight of the World” is the final track off this debut album and its very much about the power rather than the pace. That is until of course you get to the guitar solos which are beautifully intricate. Carstens vocal range once again raises the bar once again and is definitely an anthemic way to end the album.
This type of album is usually never played in my house but when you hear the vocals mixed with the power and thrash riff style in each of the eleven songs on show here, you can’t help but listen. Darkride will certainly be gathering a fanbase with this recording and I have already joined them on their rise to the top. If well thought out and precise and intricate musicianship is your bag then this is for you.
Weight of the World is out now