DARK SKY – Initium

DARK SKY – Initium

Dark Sky come from Southern Germany and "Initium" is the fifth album from the quintet. Originating in 1982, they went quiet for almost a decade after recording two demos- but since 2000 have been actively recording and playing shows whenever possible. Their sound represents an amalgam of European power metal and melodic hard rock with slightly AOR-ish vocal melodies.

Keyboardist Claudio Nobile flashes a little of his hook line skills on the mid-tempo "Food for a Million", while the follow up "Judas 1- Dancing With the Devil" showcases guitarist Steffen Doll’s adept emotive soloing skills along with the requisite balance of heavier, heads down riffing and catching transitions. Frank Breuninger has a slightly nasally delivery, although conveys a decent sense of melody on "You’re Alive" and the pulsating "The Rock" where his voice resides in that Bonfire meets Axxis mold. Bassist Winny Zurek and drummer Uwe Mayer aren’t the flashiest rhythm section you’ll discover in the power/ melodic hard rock realm- they prefer to keep these songs in the pocket, especially on the more epic/ dramatic material like the 6:19 "I Swear" which in its mid-section combines a "Children of the Grave"  driving feel with Savatage overtones.

Overall Dark Sky combines a lot of mid-tempo Helloween in terms of their sonic outlook as well as latter day Savatage, and probably Bonfire within these 14 tracks. The execution of the material is decent, but for some reason I didn’t latch onto much that I would remember beyond a few weeks at best. The hooks aren’t strong enough with "Initium" to leave me humming away, or remotely excited to recommend the band as a future headliner.

This record is probably best saved for the people who are ardent German melodic metal collectors.