FANS OF THE DARK – Fans of the Dark
There was something about the old-school horror movie album cover and the Maiden-esque font that I found quite attractive the first time I glanced at this CD and as luck would have it, the brand-new act using the moniker Fans of the Dark is in actual fact a pretty good addition to the ever-expanding melodic hard rock scene. These Swedes combine hooks and dynamics to great effect, and I found this self-titled effort of theirs to be slightly more diverse and musically clever than most other releases by similar-sounding outfits that have been churned out lately.
The LP boasts slick melodies, groovy choruses, atmospheric passages, and kick-ass riffs, and there is no lack of cohesion here as such. Just listen to the vocals that grace the atmospheric and haunting verse in opening track “The Ghost of Canterville” or the melancholy chorus of “Rear Window” – quite brilliant, right? The sound of the album is big and lively, and the drums pack a punch while the guitars possess a crunchy edge, which are all good things in my book. The 8-minute closing track, “Zombies in My Class”, fails to retain its momentum and turns into a meandering affair and there are a few parts scattered throughout the record that lack power and the ability to excite the listener, but all in all, this is a hugely entertaining and charming slab of hard rock.
Apart from “The Foreigner”, the record lacks truly stunning songs and it never takes off completely, which entails that this is not one for the history books, but it is one that I will keep returning to as it is a worthwhile listening experience with a delightfully surreal aura to it. There is also plenty of potential and promise to be found here and I am looking forward to the follow-up by these incredibly skilled musicians already.