'The Darkest Pinnacle of Light'

(Rundown records)

MARK: 74/100


There are not many bands like them any longer, proud to propose obsolete sonorities, but I have a particular predilection for those who oppose mainstream and write good stuff at the same time.The first release out of this newborn label is theirs, and is made up of 5 tracks for a total lasting over 26 minutes; a multifold debut with an intentional 80's-oriented production. I didn't have the chance to listen to their demos, but this material is enough to obtain an opinion about the northern Irish band; they define themselves 100% raw, unclean, uncut heavy fucking metal, which is a cool and correct analysis, nevertheless I must add some more clues, as things are much more complex, although they have lost a guitarist and singer. This brought to the composing of darker songs and also the assumption of the vocal duties by Andy; well, in this case, that's a blessing in disguise, as he is a born-singer, even if I must admit he still needs fixing something and getting more experience.

The opener "Satan and Swastika" starts the Death metal way, then turns to a homicidal Black blast and riff, and later chooses a Thrash/Death approach; the 3-piece touches aggressive metal territories, a Death metal break, followed by a melodic solo. The vocals are really special, melodramatic to the nth degree, reminding of Confessor's; that's not original, OK, but I'm sure you can't but agree that it's useful to determine an even more special unripe way of composing and arranging.
A melodic arpeggio constitutes the inception of "The Final Transition", a very different piece, half-distorted and very old-fashioned as well; the refrain is very sticky and heart-felt, so you'll find yourselves wandering it in your brain for a long time after a couple of times you've listened to that.
As for the title track, it must be said it's another frantic and rapid song; the time changes and the vocals were literally stolen from Confessor. A wonderful track that makes me live again the serenity of the early 90's before life became so hard and horrible. Thank you, Honey for Christ, for making me relive these feelings I thought buried forever! Probably the fact of coming from the UK and being over 30 of age may have influenced them so much, yet this is the masterpiece of the record as volcanic Andy has opted for additional angrier vocals in the end that the recenlty reformed band has never possessed.
The last part of the EP keeps the two longer and more complex compositions: "Sorrow Descending" joins melodic Metal and Hard Rock, developing itself sad, melancholic and gloomy in order to corroborate its lyrics, the best along with the ones of the opening track. The former shows all the desperation and paralysis of a person after their soul's been so hard beaten and battered, while the latter is even better as it seems written for me. I'm sure many felt like this after seeing the world's rear face due to personal tragedies and injustices; we feel unpowerful and we also feel the absence of any God, theory after all sustained by 99% scientists, since they are rightly educated to explain everything in rational terms. Yes, sad but true, we are just creatures destined to rot from the day we are born. There is no deity, no-one to appeal to if not the few who unconditionally love us. The rest is just fairy-tales like Santa Klaus's, that's what makes the songwriter feel so forsaken, alone and uncared for.
"Signs of Bitterness", the closing track, is again soaked by Confessor's elements, but after a melodic break with whispered vocals there's a whining guitar in the vein of My Dying Bride; you'll meet one more delicious chorus, while the closure is introduced by strongly emotional vocals and riffs, instead the very last masterstroke is an acceleration with very suffered screams.

The recording is good, but for some it will sound just as a demo; on the contrary this is a pro printed CD with pro artwork and I suppose the only fault is that sometimes the vocals ought to be stereophonic and not only reserved to one loudspeaker. As to the style, my recommendation is to make songs smoother, as some breaks tend to sound a bit too abrupt. That said, nostalgics, step forward and get a hold of this rare nice piece!


Line-up on this record:
Chris, d.
Paul, b.
Andy, g./v.

Official site:

Long Way Down & Rising (demo-CD - 1999)
The Art of Self Abuse and Soul Erosion (demo-CD - 2000)
Forging Iron Will (demo-CD - 2002)
The Darkest Pinnacle of Light (MCD - 2005)