One of the biggest benefits of writing album reviews is not hearing new music from your favorite artists early; it’s being exposed to bands that you might have never heard of or might have dismissed after a quick listen. When Maestro asked if I wanted to check out the new album by France’s DARKTRIBE, I checked a couple of older samples and declined. After a stern suggestion to reconsider, I started listening to the new album, and this is one of those times that I was happy to have been wrong.
The Modern Age (out July 24 on Scarlet Records) is a really good album from start to finish. It’s solid melodic power metal – bright, uplifting, and catchy melodies, huge choruses, and some insane vocal hooks that get stuck in your ears and won’t shake loose. As I said, I wasn’t a huge fan of their first release, but they’ve definitely matured their sound and skills, and the end result is awesome. They’ve played live a lot in the last several years and really refined their sound, and it has paid off in spades.
Anthony Agnello is a great young vocal talent with an excellent and controlled falsetto that reminds me of a young Michael Kiske at times. Loïc Manuello is a solid guitarist with a good ear for riffs and catchy yet tasteful solos, and I really enjoy his playing. Bruno Caprani (bass) and Julien Agnello (drums) round out the band with a nice and consistent rhythm section that paced each song perfectly with some really tasty fills and a galloping beat that makes these songs really jump into my ears.
You can hear a ton of influences in their music – hints of HEAVENLY, HELLOWEEN, and DRAGONFORCE abound, while maintaining their own distinct sound. Songs like “My Last Odyssey”, “No Train To Earth”, “Wild Call”, and “Anthem For A Planet” are pure classic power metal goodness. These are some great melodic, driving tracks that will leave you wanting to hear more of the same.
DARKTRIBE isn’t a one-trick pony, though, and show a darker and brooding side with “Darkside Of Imagination”, “Red House Of Sorrow”, “A Last Will”, and title track “The Modern Age”, and even throw in a pretty good ballad with “Holy Water Day”. Their strength is definitely the upbeat power metal sound, but there are no slouches or filler on this album.
There’s nothing ground-breaking here, but it’s a really solid sophomore release that fans of power metal will really enjoy, and I really look forward to seeing what DARKTRIBE does next. I would definitely recommend picking up The Modern Age when it comes out.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “No Train To Earth”, “Wild Call”, “Anthem For A Planet”, “A Last Will”