[Review] My Darkest Time – The Last
My Darkest Time, hailing from Macedonia, have just put out their latest release entitled: The Last. The band have evolved in their style since Transient; the sound far more gothic metal focused, with minimal to zero death metal influence. Even the doom aspects of this band have changed quite a bit.
The vocals are entirely clean, no harsh styles of any kind, and all done by Marina Atanasova. The production has also taken it up a notch since Transient. Drums are reverb drenched, with the intention of trying to make them sound huge, but it can become a bit much at times. The drums are programmed, but done quite realistically. There are keyboards/synths present, which don’t just contribute to atmosphere but also take on lead parts in the music. The guitar work feels primarily aimed at atmosphere, as if it’s purpose is simply to encompass the harmonization with the other various instruments. However, there is a fair amount of lead guitar, but it is more about aesthetic than complicated shredding.
Zarko does have some decent arrangements in the album. Particular elements such as the doom influenced gothic metal, and Eastern European flavor, are quite beautiful. There are similarities with songs, however. Sometimes the songs sound too close to one another in style and structure. Occasionally Marina’s vocal work comes across uncertain, although only at rare moments… Perhaps it is due to minimal effects on her voice, such as little reverb. However, overall, she does prove to have a solid voice.
As a whole, the album is a step in the right direction for the band. Where Transient had vague song structures fading out, and opposing ideas fading in within the same song, The Last has consistency enough to avoid that. Personally, I would change the amount of reverb used on the drums; it gives them too much emphasis, and causes the songs to blend together. However, the similarities between songs also help cultivate an identity for the band – which is not necessarily a bad thing. The band has room for improvement, but in hindsight, it is clear they are doing the right thing step by step.
I would give this album 70 out of 100.