Storm Cry - Beginning of Darkness
Self-released
Melodic Death Metal
6 songs (25' 18")
Release year: 2014
Reviewed by Andy

On a whim, I picked up brand-new Italian melodeath outfit Storm Cry's first EP, Beginning of Darkness. I keep hoping to see something new in melodeath, and still haven't given that hope up yet...but this album isn't it. While the band is quite solid in terms of musicianship, there's nothing about their music that is particularly unique, and in this genre they're completely overshadowed by a number of their Swedish predecessors.

The Sun Dies Here is a prime example of this. Its mid-tempo crunching isn't bad by any means, but we've heard it before from Amon Amarth and In Flames, and the riffs they come up with aren't memorable, nor are the generic "protagonist going insane due to being in the Vietnam war" lyrics sung by vocalist Shoto. The SYS is even more In Flames worship than The Sun Dies Here, but has a tiny bit more ferocity, at least, with some Iron Maiden-style two-guitar harmonies partway through and at the end, which makes it better, and so does Void. But Fear Now remains in the same rut, and it still feels like the real reason why some of the tracks sound good is that they're the ones that sound the most like what the first-generation melodeath bands made.

The title track, the last on the album, is probably the most technically adept of the lot. The guitarists, Cesco and Zack, harmonize nicely and trade off back and forth on the twin guitar attacks the material demands, and if the song had good hooks it would probably end up on the Killing Songs list for this one. But it doesn't, really. The listener is left with the impression that even if Beginning of Darkness had an original bone in its body (it doesn't), Storm Cry could still save the day with their tight musicianship...as long as they could write a song well. Instead, one is treated to some technically decent riffs that don't go anywhere in particular. For those who can't get enough melodic death metal, Beginning of Darkness might fit the bill, but there's so much better melodeath out there that most people should probably give this one a pass.

Bandcamp: https://stormcry.bandcamp.com/.

Killing Songs :
None
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