My revelations 14/15
USA Progmusic 9/10
Progressive waves 9/10
Angelic Warlord 90/100
Lords of Metal 89/100
Metal Perspective 8,5/10
Bright eyes 11/13
Magic Fire Music 17/20
Treehouse of death 8,5/10
Hardrock Haven 8,2/10
Rock report.be 5/6
Metal Covenant 8/10
The streetz 8/10
Metal symphony 8/10
Music in Belgium 4/5
Darkwater have created a melodic metal masterpiece, with just the right amount of progressive metal influences. If you like Melodic Metal nad Progressive Metal bands like Symphony X, Dream Theater, and Evergrey, you will most definitely greatly appreciate this great new album!
Darkwater formed in late 2003 in the western parts of Sweden. During the first years of existence they only did a few selected shows in Sweden while working on the material for their debut album.
Mixes handled by Peter Saether (A.C.T., SKYFIRE) Mastering by Goran Finnberg (IN FLAMES, THE HAUNTED, DARK TRANQUILITY)
REVIEW BY METALSTORM / 88 / 100 RATING
We will do simple things todayâ€¦ So to be simple I will just say that you're just in front of one of the best albums of the year 2007, especially if you like great Progressive Metal. "Calling The Earth To Witness" is the first album of a newcomer from Sweden, Darkwater, a band which was formed in 2003 and which releases its first album this year via the new Swedish label Ulterium Records. I can tell you one thing my friends, this album will probably helps a lot the label to become bigger because it's simply a masterpiece of Progressive Metal. Wowww!
Between Andromeda, Dream Theater and Beyond Twilight, "Calling The Earth To Witness" is a pure jewel of Progressive Metal. Darkwater is a new band, so like you I'm discovering them through this record but their musical maturity is so high already that the best will come for sure for this combo. They use to play a dark and melancholic Progressive Metal full of keyboards lines (a bit like Andromeda) which doesn't lack however of catchy and sharpy guitars riffs and I have nothing to say against the melodies which are all extremely good. All (yes all!) the height songs are real masterpieces of Progressive Metal, they're long and complex with a dozen of rhythm changes and breaks with of course a lot of other surprises. But even if it's complex, I didn't have any feeling of boredom and I can tell you that "Calling The Earth To Witness" is an album easy of access (I'm not saying that it's easy don't misunderstand me!) which doesn't smell the elitist music. It's simply a pure in your face Progressive Metal, a real blast of technical but catchy music.
After that I talked about the quality of the compositions I will talk a bit about the performance of the musicians and the production which is evidently really important too. Here, no problem but it's not surprising when you know that it's Peter Seather who worked on the mixing at Studio Underground, and the mastering was done by GÃ¶ran Finnberg (Mastering Room) famously known for his work with In Flames, The Haunted or Dark Tranquillityâ€¦ Plus the guys of Darkwater are just excellent musicians who are able to play real technical and complex music and Henrik BÃ¥th is a great surprising singer. You can be sure that we will hear a lot of good words about this young guy.
I will not give the maximum rating to this CD only because I already expect a confirmation of all my positive words. But if Darkwater is able to release some other albums with the same musical quality, then you can be sure that they will become one of the leaders of the European Progressive Metal scene. "Calling The Earth To Witness" is my Progressive surprise of the year 2007 and I hope that you'll follow my words and buy this album as soon as possible, be sure that you'll not be disapointed!
Band profile: Darkwater
Album: Calling The Earth To Witness
ANGELICWARLORD / 90 /100 RATING
ou have to admire the versatility of guitarist Markus Sigfridsson. After getting started in 2003 with Harmony and the melodic metal of its stunning debut Dreaming Awake, the artist followed up three years later with 7 Days and the more symphonic power/progressive based sounds of its initial offering The Weight Of The World. Darkwater, the latest project to feature Sigfridsson, takes a foundation of progressive rock and joins it with elements of metal and hard rock on its 2007 full length debut Calling The Earth To Witness. While â€œprogressive metalâ€ is the first label that comes to mind when describing Darkwater, that would only be telling part of the story. Donâ€™t get me wrong, the band delivers a more than ample amount of rhythm guitar to fall within the metal category, and the progressiveness it displays is over the top; on the other hand, you will find influences of classic rock, melodic rock and AOR here along with some jazz fusion and jam band flavorings as well. What is the end result? A versatile but consistent work certain to appeal to fans of Threshold, Dream Theater, Shadow Gallery and Symphony X in addition to those into Neal Morse, Proto-Kaw, Kansas and Yes. All in all, my overall feeling is that it is not necessary to be a fan of metal to enjoy Darkwater. And that is to the bands credit.
Darkwater, a band that initially came together in Sweden in late 2003 and spent the next several years perfecting its material before signing with Ulterium Records in early 2007, features four of the five original members of Harmony. Henrik Bath perfectly complements the material here with his clean sounding and smooth â€“ at times emotional â€“ lead vocal style. It is worth noting the steps and strides made by Henrik in terms of his range and delivery, improving upon what was already a very fine performance on Dreaming Awake. Henrik also fills in on rhythm guitar and is joined by Markus Sigfridsson on lead guitar. An accomplished player who is not afraid to cut loose and extend the length of his soloing, Markus provides the needed backbone for the confidence Darkwater displays in its instrumental sound. When playing music of such a progressive nature, at the same time, it is important to posses a keyboardist of an adept variety. And such is the case with Magnus Holberg, whose work adds the right accentuating touch â€“ particularly his balanced use of piano and organ â€“ without unnecessarily dominating the music. Drummer Tobias Enbert and bassist Karl Wasshold round out the rhythm section.
As previously stated, the music here is over the top in its progressiveness with seven of the albums full length songs averaging at around just over nine minutes each. One of the reasons the album features such lengthy material is that Darkwater takes every opportunity to showcase its instrumental sound. But the bands approach is tasteful and complementary without coming across indulgent in that every time a song transitions to instrumental territory you cannot help but get the feeling a natural progression is being made. To understand my point, please give the epic â€œHabitâ€ and â€œAll Eyes On Meâ€ â€“ a nine minute piece which is roughly half instrumental â€“ several spins. â€œTallest Treeâ€, a creative progressive rock number, and the metal laced â€œAgainâ€, in addition, all feature significant instrumental portions as well.
Production values pristinely allow all the instrumentation to rise above the mix.
The album gets underway with â€œ2534167 (Intro)â€, a short (:32) distorted sounding instrumental.
â€œAll Eyes On Meâ€ commences to a near perfect melding of rhythm guitar and keyboards. Drifting ahead in a laid back manner to a highlighting trace of piano, the song picks up in pace as it obtains a chorus guaranteed to draw you in with its resonant and uplifting appeal. â€œAll Eyes On Meâ€ proves a near virtual jam session as nearly half its nine minutes are instrumental.
A jazz fusion-like feeling is reflecting in the instrumental based opening to â€œAgainâ€. The song gains momentum as the rhythm guitar moves to the front of the mix for its first verse, sustaining the vibrant atmosphere on its way to a melodic based chorus that will have you singing along in no time. Darkwater displays the strength of its musicianship throughout a three and a half minute long instrumental section.
â€œHabitâ€, the albums â€œepicâ€ at 12:46, is a highly complex and technical number introduced to vocal harmonies that give way to the instrumental section that covers its first minute and a half. â€œHabitâ€ proceeds to traverse a literal maze of time changes, some creative and other intricate, all the while giving rise to a melody of a copious nature. An occasional touch of organ only adds to the majestic scene. Beautiful song.
â€œThe Play â€“ Iâ€ is a fleeting (2:34) ballad that reflects a Kansas influence as a result of the piano that shores up its entire length.
â€œThe Play â€“ IIâ€ begins its first minute and a half in instrumental territory as a forward mix of rhythm guitar dominates the fusion based setting. Maintaining the guitar driven initiative during its verse portions, â€œThe Play â€“ IIâ€ evens out upon reaching a chorus reflecting a smooth sounding but euphonic touch. Sigfridsson steps forward with a display of his signature radiant work on lead guitar.
A symphonic aura is exuded during the two minute instrumental based opening to â€œShatteredâ€. The driving rhythm guitar that steps forward pushes the song ahead in aggressive fashion, further impetus gained as a chorus advancing at a scintillating, upbeat tempo is obtained. Another extensive instrumental section allows Sigfridsson to show off his abilities on lead guitar.
The ten minute â€œTallest Treeâ€ embarks quietly to an acoustic guitar before a crunchy rhythm guitar takes over the mix. Slowing to a trace of piano prior to its first verse, the song regains its determination as the rhythm guitar returns and leads the way to a swiftly moving chorus in which an authoritative setting is established. A near perfect mix of rhythm guitar highlights an imposing three and a half minute long instrumental section.
At â€œjustâ€ six minutes â€œIn My Dreamsâ€ is the shortest of the albums full length tracks. The piano at the start of the song soon gives way to an even blend of rhythm guitar and keyboards. Leveling off at the start of its first verse, momentum is gradually gained by â€œIn My Dreamsâ€ on its way to an arresting chorus fortified by Bathâ€™s emotionally charged vocal delivery. The abundant backing vocals found throughout the song help to give it an AOR feel.
Review by: Andrew Rockwell
Track Listing: â€œ2534167 (Intro)â€ (:32), â€œAll Eyes On Meâ€ (8:48), â€œAgainâ€ (9:01), â€œHabitâ€ (12:46), â€œThe Play â€“ Iâ€ (2:34), â€œThe Play â€“IIâ€ (8:39), â€œShatteredâ€ (9:38), â€œTallest Treeâ€ (10:14), â€œIn My Dreamsâ€ (6:09)
Henrik Bath â€“ Lead Vocals & Guitars
Markus Sigfridsson â€“ Guitars
Magnus Holmberg â€“ Keyboards
Karl Wasshold â€“ Bass
Tobias Enbert â€“ Drums
Also Reviewed: Harmony â€“ Dreaming Awake, 7 Days â€“ The Weight Of The World
AOR HEAVEN CALLS IT
Superb new progressive metal act from Sweden, which combines the commercial side of A.C.T. with the complex arrangements from Dream Theater. A very impressive debut, which really sounds like a bastard son between A.C.T. and Dream Theater !
METALCOVENENT.COM - 8/10 RATING
Darkwater was formed late 2003 in the western parts of Sweden. After a couple of years of writing material and performing a few selected shows they entered the studio in summer 2006 to record their first album. The album was recorded in different studios to reach the highest result as possible and together with a splendid mix this has left us with a top notch production with a crystal clear, dynamic and heavy sound.
Even if 4/5 of Darkwater already has released one album in the shape of the melodic metal outfit Harmony it's an impressive achievement they've made considering it's their debut with Darkwater. When listening to Calling The Earth To Witness you get the impression that they've done nothing but playing progressive melodic metal the last ten years or so. This is extremely well executed, balanced and effective song writing with a most satisfying production. The only thing this album lacks is maybe an own identity since the influences shine through quite clearly. I would like to describe them as the progressive cousin to Evergrey as you can sense a lot of bands like Dream Theater and Symphony X in Darkwater's music as well.
At first I wasn't that impressed of what Darkwater had to offer but for every listening session I've had with Calling The Earth To Witness my interest has escalated. By now I have listened to the record at least ten times and I rank it as one of the best progressive metal releases this year. Songs like the melodic Again, the progressive monster Habit and the dynamic and outstanding Tallest Tree really is what makes this record special. Another aspect is the splendid musicianship; tight as hell and a superb vocalist in the shape of Henrik BÃ¥th, just listen to his delivery in The Play - I and you will know what I'm talking about.
Those of you who are into the progressive metal genre and can look beyond the lack of an own identity, this must be considered as a must buy. Since this is only their first release I'm sure they will develop their own sound along the way and I predict a bright future for Darkwater.