Dark Quarterer - Symbols
My Graveyard Productions
Prog/Epic/Heavy Metal
6 songs (68:51)
Release year: 2008
Dark Quarterer, My Graveyard Productions
Reviewed by Thomas

I am writing this review, or this paragraph at least, during my first ever spin of the already completely overwhelming Symbols. I figured I’d take a trip down memory lane and re-visit and review every single one of their earlier releases before stepping into the powerful presence that is Dark Quarterer’s latest release. I didn’t even know that this one was out until recently, and I had only heard the masterful The Pyramid of Skulls before putting this on just now. 20 years had passed since the glorious classic The Etruscan Prophecy was released back in ’88. Except this, only two full-lengths have followed, and their latest Violence marked a distinct change in style, sound and direction due to various reasons. Violence was darker, angrier, meaner and more violent than anything we had ever heard from these skilled Italians before. Symbols on the other hand is quite different as the focus is more or less geared towards the epic, spectacular and glorious side of metal as well as more than ever being coloured by progressive elements. Still in my first listen, I can tell that this should’ve been in the top of my 08 year-end list, and that this maybe is the best record Dark Quarterer has released since The Etruscan Prophecy, if not ever.

The most dramatic change from Violence is the addition of keyboard player Francesco Longhi to make a firm orchestral back-up to the otherwise amazing music. He adds a refreshing touch with mellow piano-melodies, a few neat solo’s, huge orchestral pieces, choir handling and carefully chosen sounds to fit the mood of every song. Every single aspect of his playing is great and never taking the step into the shadow of temptation that consists of merely showing off. I was skeptical when I first heard they had added a keyboard-player, but as of now, I only think of it as the right choice. He blends in with the others perfectly, never showing signs of slipping up. As for the other members, Gianni Nepi sounds stronger than ever. Varying his vocals a fair bit between the sky-high falsettos and deep almost snarly roars of his, he stands out along with few others as one of the best and most timeless vocalists in metal. Francesco Sozzi’s dazzling guitar-playing that we really got to know on Violence is brought up to a completely different level on here, as he reaches deep into your soul with every riff and every solo drenched with emotions that’ll clutch your heart in a tight grip. In addition to all that, Paolo Ninci is really on form on this one and is representing a lot of the progressive stuff that colours this so brightly. His insane craftsmanship provides us with otherworldly beats and a perfectly forged collaboration with Gianni Nepi’s thunderous bass-playing.

The songs are of fantastic measure as usual, as Dark Quarterer succeed yet again on crafting an album filled with long songs that never even tends to get boring. The “shortest” song on here is no less than 8:58 minutes long, meaning that you’re in for a highly epic and creative listen with songs clocking up to almost a quarter of an hour. There is really not much point in getting into each and every song, as they’re so different and consists of so many elements. I can however assure you that you will not be bored by anything on here as nothing is overdone. The guitars are mighty, entertaining, melodic and engaging at once. At the same time Longhi creates some of the finest solos of the entire genre. The vocal melodies are huge, awe-inspiring and epic. Nepi drives this one through the roof and remains on a level of his very own. When I listen to this, I understand why they use so many years to create material between each album. It must take one hell of a long while to come up with all this brilliant stuff, put it together and record it. This is varied greatly, without ever slipping into alternative universes that’ll just confuse you. You’ll find eastern influences as well as jazzy piano-melodies, prog rock and straight up heavy metal mixed together into a really tempting bowl of scary good candy. This is heaven for every epic, progressive or heavy metal enthusiast. This is fucking Dark Quarterer. The six-seven years it might take for them to complete another masterpiece is more than worth it.

Killing Songs :
Wandering in the Dark, Ides of March, Pyramids of Skulls, The Blind Church, Shadows of Night, Crazy White Race
Thomas quoted 95 / 100
Other albums by Dark Quarterer that we have reviewed:
Dark Quarterer - Violence reviewed by Thomas and quoted 88 / 100
Dark Quarterer - War Tears reviewed by Thomas and quoted 93 / 100
Dark Quarterer - The Etruscan Prophecy reviewed by Thomas and quoted CLASSIC
Dark Quarterer - Dark Quarterer reviewed by Thomas and quoted 93 / 100
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