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Walk in Darkness - In the Shadow of Things

 Walk in Darkness – In the Shadow of Things

CD Info
Independent release
8 Tracks
English Lyrics

The album opens with gentle piano, belying the storm to come. But soon enough death growls shatter the calm: “All hopes fall like autumn rain/in endless nights/Sorrow, wrath and consolation/are flickering candles in the dark.” Doomy guitars take over until light appears in the form of Nicoletta Rosellini’s beautiful, powerful voice: “I can change the course of things...We walk in dust/but we find music in desolation/We walk in darkness/but something shines in our tears.” At first her voice remains overlaid with the growls and guitars, but eventually she breaks free. Soon enough, however, the battle resumes.

So much drama, and that is just the first song, “Heavy Wings of Destiny.” Say hello to Italy’s new band, Walk in Darkness. By the way, that first song is typical of the album in terms of contrast and epicness but atypical in that it is the only song featuring death vocals (supplied by guest Emiliano Pasquinelli of the band Tuchulcha).

The next song, “The Siren,” is perhaps more typical of the album’s overall sound and is the subject of the band’s first music video. It features a prominent Maidenesque bassline and more nice piano but wastes no time getting to Nicoletta’s stunning vocals. She’s a breath of fresh air in the genre. Neither a soprano nor a screamer, she instead offers clear, urgent vocals that are deeper than most female-fronted metal. She excels at both quiet reflection and also anthem-like choruses that make me think of Bruce Dickinson. You may have heard her in her main band Kalidia, which is also excellent. Here, she is officially billed as a guest, but appears on all the songs.

The other band members prefer to walk in shadows, wearing hoods on the album cover and in their music videos. But they are excellent musicians. All the songs are tightly crafted and executed. The rhythms are driving; the guitars are melodic and sweet; and the contrasts keep the listener constantly engaged. The lyrics are also a plus; they explore not only light and darkness and the shadows in between, but also draw on mythology and history in songs like “Carthage” and “Alexandria.”

The album is incredibly consistent in its quality. There are no fillers. Another standout song, “Walk Like Heroes,” is also the subject of a music video. This song begins with mournful guitars and Nicoletta’s spoken vocals: “Sometimes I’m the moon shining along the river/Sometimes I’m the river carrying all away.” She then sings in a fragile, high voice, which serves as a dramatic contrast to the huge anthem-like chorus that follows.

The album closer, “Alexandria,” also deserves special mention. After brief orchestration, it begins with energetic guitars and drums, and is the only song on the album to feature a touch of opera, in the form of guest vocals from Finnish soprano Magdalena Lee (of Tears of Magdalena). Her voice and Nicoletta’s work well together.

Overall, Walk in Darkness is one the most exciting new band’s I’ve encountered in some time. I already loved Nicoletta from Kalidia, and her new band (guest project?) grabbed my attention as it emerged on YouTube and then announced an album. You can tell that this is a band that sweats the details, from each element of each song to their very well executed music videos (which put many videos from major labels to shame). I enthusiastically recommend Walk in Darkness to fans of female-fronted metal looking for something fresh, as well as to fans of classic bands like Iron Maiden and Paradise Lost.

In their words: “The music of Walk in Darkness is spontaneous and improvised, modern, ancient, and subsequently, ageless. Originating in the metaphysical spaces and arcane emotions, it progresses instinctively in intense musical frames and impressions, completely detached from mainstream commerce to the point where Walk in Darkness decided to remain incognito, proceeding in absolute anonymity. In fact, in darkness. The musicians are therefore faceless, representing the obscure side of man’s unknowable depths hidden in the daily physical space, perceptible only in the metaphysical dimension of the music. Walk in Darkness’ music perfectly matches with Nicoletta Rosellini’s evocative voice.”

The album, which will surely be in my top 10 of 2017, will be released through major digital distributors on February 17, 2017. By the time you read this, a new video for “Heavy Wings of Destiny” will also be released on YouTube.

More information about Walk in Darkness can be found on their Facebook and website. Check them out!