Release DetailsLABEL Rage of Achilles
RELEASED ON 8/26/2003
Under the Shadows of Fear
posted on 10/2003 By:
One-man projects have never sat with me right. Even one-man projects that are ‘fantasy’ inspired and that include female vocals and atmospheric keyboards. Even Bulgaria’s Darkflight. Also, why is it one-man metal projects always seem to be keyboard heavy black metal that sucks? This particular singular project of ‘pure fantasy darkness’ is the brainchild of one Ivo Iliev, with the help of female crooner Silvy Takvorian. And as with most of my recent experiences (Mirrorthrone, Carrier Flux), it leaves a lot to be desired, despite the palatable atmosphere. Frankly, the music itself is the downfall here. The synths are decent at conveying the appropriate dragons and wizards vibe, but the paper thin guitars, programmed drums and hollow home studio bottom end, render any of the fantasy derived manifestations lifeless. Add to that the songs themselves just kind of drag on without little or no focus other than the dungeons and dragons theme and it makes for a pretty lackluster album. Iliev seems to have a grasp on the whole fantasy ambience, as the keyboard work is often pretty epic, as seen on opener “Moonlight Battle” and the intro to “A Call For the Dragons”, but when the guitars and drums are introduced, it takes a step backwards and comes across as well…. A one man Bulgarian home studio project. There are some decent ideas, so long as they are conveyed with the synths alone, and as a Mortiis-like ambient project, Darkflight might have some merit, but as a metal act, the music just simply falls flat. To be frank there’s not really one track on this album that warrants any real praise, other than when it's just the keyboards playing, but unfortunately they all feature some kind of annoying, tinny guitars that offer nothing to the atmosphere at all. Even the ballad “To Die in your Arms”, despite its initial lack of guitars, introduces some weird ethereal solo-ing that not only sounds out of place, its contradicts the atmosphere of the song. Even when attempting ominous, foreboding material like the first few bars of “Occult Rituals”, the home made production makes it weightless and ineffectual, and again when the guitars kick in, rather than invoke a bloodlust or warlust, it's rendered utterly hollow. It's not just the tone or sound, it's just Iliev doesn’t have the knack of writing the riffs that suitably conveys his chosen visage, and rather than coming across like Summoning (his aim I think), it fails miserably. An ‘A’ should be given for effort though as lord knows I wish I could compile an album and get a record deal on my own, but to be honest if I knew it would turn out like this, I probably wouldn’t bother. Rage of Achilles must have seen something in Darkflight I missed, and who knows, given a proper budget, studio, and maybe some more band members, Darkflight may blossom, but as of right now I’m questioning Rage of Achilles, and questioning the need for this album.
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