A Dark Reborn – Last Echo (Art Gates Records)

Wednesday, 18th October 2023
Rating: 9 / 10

Contemporary fusions of established metal subgenres have potentially increased the popularity of the genre exponentially. It’s led to the underground (and above) foothold artists like Jinjer, Lorna Shore, and Spiritbox continue to make on a worldwide scale. Hailing from Gerona, Spain, A Dark Reborn aim to add their melodic death meets modern style to that buzz factor template through this second album Last Echo. Establishing a presence across Spain and Portugal through their 2022 debut The Light, the band would release two subsequent EP’s The Flight and Ritual – which along with three new songs, makes up the content that signing with Art Gates Records would take as the collective for this record.

The five-piece establishes a sound fueled by immediately catchy guitar riffs built out in an aggressive, staccato / metalcore manner, while the male/female vocals weave in measures of clean, powerful verses, monumental choruses, as well as the necessary growls/screams to punctuate those key heavier/moody parts. Lur mesmerizes in her multifaceted singing abilities – incorporating a mix of whispers to pop/rock lines next to sick roars that allow the band to go in dynamic directions musically. From the pounding / eerie jagged shifts during “Illusions” that traverse In Flames/ Arch Enemy meets Jinjer aspects to the low-tuned chugging meets mysterious keyboard landscape put forth on the constantly hypnotic / shapeshifter “Delirium”, the latter cut also features some interesting main drum groove intricacies out of Saül. Ex-Textures/current Crown Compass singer Daniel de Jongh adds his outer universe vocal lines to “Ritual”, an engaging cut that throws a bevy of power, melodic death, and modern riffs at the listener, the quieter parts ambient next to the subsequent distortion/double kick-fueled pounding assault angles. When these musicians choose to slow down the proceedings for “Dark Matter”, they don’t lose any sense of viciousness – the blood curdling screams, doom/industrial-like rhythm guitars against exotic harmonies, and haunting keyboard underpinning leads to a solid breakdown payoff by its conclusion.

Nine songs in 37 minutes, A Dark Reborn are another solid modern band who incorporate a variety of metalcore, melodic death, and pop/rock to progressive aspects through Last Echo that should vault them up the ladder and into the hearts of those who love the catchy blends put forth here.

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