Dakesis – Fractures
Release Date: 28/03/2020
Running Time: 56:50
Review by Paul Monkhouse
From the shadow filled realms of the home of hard rock, the Midlands, comes the epic Gothic Symphonic/Progressive Metal of Dakesis and this, their third album, is an outstanding next step on a career that has seen them rapidly rising through the ranks. By far and away their most mature and ambitious release yet, “Fractures” is an epic journey into a world where metal goddesses and gods ride fiery steel chariots and huge black wolves run by their sides.
You are thrust into this realm from the opening notes of the instrumental ‘Eos’, its atmosphere a fanfare and prologue for the widescreen adventure hurtling your way as the band tear into ‘Ends of Time’ (Parts I and II). Full of frantic fretwork, the percussive heft of charging drums and bass and Gemma Lawler’s soaring vocals, this one-two punch screams that this is a band who know where they want to go and absolutely nothing is going to stand in their way. ‘Overthrown’ is full of surging and slashing rhythms as glacial cool meets head on with industrial punch, the vocals switching from sweet to passionate. You can imagine this being played in a woodland clearing as black robes flow and feral eyes shine as razor sharp canines glisten in powerful lupine mouths.
Matt Jones shreds and produces monstrous riffs with every fibre of his soul on the huge ‘Kairos’, Amie Chatterley’s bass and Adam Harris’s drums providing the engine that powers the beast along. There’s more of a feel of the Mystical Far East that threads its way through ‘Surrender Your Fears’, its timeless quality bringing changes in tempo as it builds and builds as percussion thrills and choirs raise the drama to an almost unbearable pitch of widescreen colour and light. Following this, ‘Hold Forever’ continues to up the ante, its Gothic sweep clawing you into a land where the night is reluctant to give up its dark dominance to the gentle rays of the dawn.
The album closes with two absolutely epic tracks that elevate Dakesis above their peers and show themselves to be one of the finest and grand bands of their type in Europe. ‘Legacy in Memory’ starts with the gentle piano of Jacob Underwood as that and the bass accompany Lawler, the singer putting in a showstopping (but not grandstanding) vocal before the full power of an orchestral section threatens to tear the roof off. Again, the production and attention to detail is breath-taking as the band seek to push themselves further and further, making something that will stand the test of time their goal. Clocking in at a lengthy fifteen minutes, the titular ‘Fractures’ is a piece that truly deserves its running time, all guns blazing as it takes you on a musical journey that immerses you in a gargantuan adventure. Choirs sing, modern keys hint at a ‘Bladerunner’ style future, drums and bass are unstoppable, guitars frantically flayed in pitiless fashion and lead vocals overwhelm as they surge and dive. There is a deft understanding of light and shade as the band drop things down in the middle section before cranking things up for the last act as they race for the finish line, breathless and triumphant. If you like your metal full of character, melody and atomic strength power then “Fractures” is the album for you. Truly outstanding.
02. Ends Of Time, Pt. 1
03. Ends Of Time, Pt. 2
06. Surrender Your Fears
07. Hold Forever
08. Legacy In Memory
Gemma Lawler – Vocals
Amie Chatterley – Bass & Vocals
Matt Jones – Guitar
Adam Harris – Drums & Vocals
Jacob Underwood – Live Piano & Keyboards
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