Dark Quarterer - The Etruscan Prophecy
Cobra Records
Prog/Epic/Doom/Heavy Metal
7 songs (47:54)
Release year: 1988
Dark Quarterer, Cobra Records
Reviewed by Thomas

Even though they didn’t get much attention around, it is not something to shovel under a rock that Dark Quarterer was one of the best releases in the eighties. With that they helped to pioneer the epic metal scene with added progressive elements that would make any Rush or Yes-fan water his/her mouth in excitement. Many a fan would want to call this the Italian Manilla Road, which would be kind of unfair seeing that these guys, according to some sites, has been around since 1968(!), and since some, including yours truly, consider this band as second to none, in their own league, and certainly the band that has released some of the best epic heavy metal albums ever. The Etruscan Prophecy doesn’t only confirm what the band already established with their self-titled debut, it’s an album every metal fan should know and love, and has it’s very own place in the Classic Metal Hall of Fame.

The band made a couple of minor changes when creating this album. The production is way clearer, which is not necessarily a good thing depending on your taste. The mix is generally louder and more polished yet still dirty and juicy. The guitars are a little thicker and clearer here, yet still as sharp as a knife. The bass is also a little clearer, and dominates the rhythmical picture along with the drums ever so much as on their debut. Shortly put, take everything with Dark Quarterer wrap it into a slightly better produced record and with better songs, and there you have The Etruscan Prophecy. While the songs aren’t what you can call a step up, as the songs on their debut already were top notch. However, they’ve developed their sound and songwriting a little here, as the songs aren’t quite as proggy and maybe a little slower, which perhaps earned them the doom brand. Except for the opener Retribution, this is mostly mid-paced stuff reminiscent of Pagan Altar yet not as slow. Another interesting change is that they’re more geared towards creating epic tunes with three songs crossing the nine-minute mark and no songs shorter than six minutes except for two short interludes. Very few bands manage to go through with that without the listener losing interest. Here however, the melodies, solos and riffs are stacked up, completely stunning you from the first moment of Retributioner to the magical title-track all the way through to the huge epic and previously unreleased track Queen of the Sewer, which might as well grab the award as best song on the album.

If this album, metal fan or not, doesn’t inspire positive feelings to dwell within your soul, then something is utterly wrong with you. The beautiful melodies flourish throughout the whole record, the incredibly charming and enchanting riffs enthralls your mind and puts you in a state of euphoria that will not let go. The piercing yet incredible vocal work of Gianni Nepi mixes up soft whispers, piercing squeals and an overall balance that is both impressive and pleasing and definitely contributes with an undeniable boost. Last but not least we have the entertainingly pounding and ever so lively rhythm work of both Nepi and Paolo Ninci that’ll crack a mountain and make every other rhythm duo, with a few exceptions, look pale in comparison. The blacksmith of metal has forged this band so incredibly stable it’s hard to believe. And The Entruscan Prophecy shows just what a perfect match the trio were back then, and of which few could match.

Drenched with emotions, the force that is Dark Quarterer continued with full speed from their fantastic debut and comes up with an even bigger, better and even more mature release that blew everyone away. This is yet another album that got entirely drowned by the wave of heavy and thrash metal bands at the time, yet it remains to this day a timeless cult classic and one of the pioneering releases within the mystical epic heavy metal scene. It’s hard, even for the most educated metal-head to find bands that matches these guys in every aspect. This band remains to this day as one of the best heavy/epic metal bands around, and this is their milestone.

Killing Songs :
Thomas quoted CLASSIC
Other albums by Dark Quarterer that we have reviewed:
Dark Quarterer - Symbols reviewed by Thomas and quoted 95 / 100
Dark Quarterer - Violence reviewed by Thomas and quoted 88 / 100
Dark Quarterer - War Tears reviewed by Thomas and quoted 93 / 100
Dark Quarterer - Dark Quarterer reviewed by Thomas and quoted 93 / 100
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