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30.11.11

Dakesis - "Trail By Fire" (CapsAArx) 4/5

Birmingham in the UK has in recent years styled itself as 'The Home Of Metal', and whilst there is a certain amount of tourist trappage in the whole claim and the new museum they have set up there, it cannot be denied that the West Midlands has had a very important role to play in the development of hard rock in the UK and beyond, and the area is still turning out some pretty impressive stuff, in recent months we've had cracking albums from Zombie Xtras and Bide Your Time, and now we have the debut release from power metal outfit Dakesis to add to the mix.

Now this lot have been around for a few years now and have previously issued an eponymous ep, before hitting us with this their first full lenght album. Now I showed this one to a friend the other day, who proclaimed that the album cover was 'a bit iffy' and therefore they had little interest in the music on the disc. Well after I had slapped him around a bit I pointed out that; a) there are far worse album covers out there than this one, and b) the quality of an albums cover is no reflection on the quality of the music there in. (Just look at the cover to the old Battleaxe album 'Burn This Town' for example, then play the record!)

Leaving the album art aside, the music on offer here is pretty damn cool. Dakesis are a five piece with both male and female lead vocals, and they know how to smith a good song. Just take Liar for example; here is a song that reminds me a little of NWOBHM supergroup Tytan with a touch or two of Diamond Head thrown into the mix and a classic Judas Priest style guitar duel section to cap it all off. Great stuff indeed. There are other influences on show here as well; After The Storm has a touch of the big epic operatic style euro-metal about it, think Nightwish, Within Temptation, Nemesea etc and you'll get the idea. Then in other places, such as on the track Valhalla Dakesis are heading off into the power-metal territory of the likes of In Solitude, Royal Hunt, Dignity etc. The up shot of all this is that 'Trial By Fire' is a good and varied album that keeps the interest up from beginning to end.

The musicianship is first rate, both male and female vocals sound clear and natural, the guitars are the stuff of axe heroics, the rhythm section is a driven powerhouse and the keys give the whole thing a nice smooth polish that finishes off the whole sound to perfection. OK I will say the production here is a little flat and lacking in sparkle, but this is a low budget album from a new up and coming band, and that can be forgiven. I'm sure this will be an album that opens a fair few doors for this lot and I'm sure we will be hearing a lot more from Dakesis in years to come.

Recommended

For fans of... Nemesea, In Solitude, Tytan, Diamond Head, Royal Hunt, Kivimetsan Druidi....

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