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| 2 May 2018 | Reply

April 2018
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Few and far between are albums which give one tingles upon repeated listens; which stimulate all the senses on a physical level; and which move us emotionally to turn our gaze deep within and assess our own worth. ‘Are we treating people well enough?’ could be the question which Into The Black is asking its listeners.

This is an album crafted by consummate artists who are brave enough to look deep within and put their love and heart and soul into their work, kicking open the door to the darkest corners of their souls in the process.

If it sounds like I am raving on about this record… well, I am It deserves to be raved about.

Into The Black is easily the equal – more likely the better – of any world class album released in the past year or two. Stunning songs, impeccable performances, masterful production… it has it all.

Jaime Page has form, of course, notably with Black Steel, Cozy Powell and Trilogy, and her playing has become other-wordly since embarking on her Dark Universe journey.

The band – the same trio who performed on previous album Dark Universe, now rebranded under that band name – are equally stunning, especially veteran vocalist Donna Greene, who has never sounded better than here, though bass and keys wizard Craig Skelton and drummer Michael Burn’s contributions cannot be undervalued.

Together they have concocted an intoxicating mix of heavy metal and classic rock with elements of pop, prog rock and symphonic metal – it’s a collection of songs impossible to pigeon hole, and all the better for it. One minute you will think of Heart, the next of Doro Pesch, then Evanescence or even PiNK.

With such class on display it’s difficult to pinpoint any single standout: there is the near-power metal anthemic qualities of Weight Of The World; the bone-grinding Sabbath-heavy riff and pop sensibilities of the title track; the near-enough seven-and-a-half minutes of irrepressible melody and coruscating guitar that is Don’t Go; the ethereal, beautiful and epic Falling In A Dream; and the Pink Floyd-ness of Whatever, with it’s wondrous web of guitars and sampled conversations,

Every track is a world beater, but of special note are God Help The Rest Of Us and Alone At The End Of The World, if only because they seem to sum up everything that is immaculate and special and unique about Dark Universe. Into The Black isn’t just a great album, it’s an important one – one with the potential to change lives, such is its emotional depth, raw honesty and resolute, magical positivity. Long may they shine.

Category: CD Reviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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