Darkwell - Suspiria ©2000 Napalm Records
1. Pictures Of Strive
2. Blackheart
3. Ladies' Choice
4. Path To Salvation (intro)
5. The Beginning
6. The Salvation
7. The Rejuvination
8. Suspiria
9. Realm Of Darkness
10. Armageddon

Well, darned if it isn't yet another band whose offers more than just the word dark in their name. Hailing from Austria, Darkwell is yet another doom-tinged outfit who offer serene female vocals over heavy, brooding neo-goth metal to varying degrees of success. Strangely, while Darkwell is in the same general topography as labelmates The Sins of Thy Beloved or Trail of Tears, there are no bare breast on the cover art, only a witchy looking drawing. How they escaped the wrath of the hormonal cover artist is a mystery and probably the most compelling thing about Suspiria.

Musically, Darkwell is in the same league as the contemporaries on their label as well as older Theatre of Tragedy, minus the deathy male vocals. In fact, that is their main identifying mark. The vocals are provided almost exclusively by Alexandra, who has a light but not quite feathery voice. She gives a very nice, pleasant performance on the record, offering some nice, fuzzy melodies while the band plays their mid to slow paced, keyboard tinged doom metal. There honestly is very little remarkable about Darkwell, aside from the fact you can play this album and enjoy it for what it is. No doors shall be knocked down with ingenuity or vastly creative and original passages, but competence is apparently their main goal. That and good songs. Darkwell may not appeal to those who aren't looking deep within the style, but they are easy to recommend to those who already tend to like the gothy, doomy sort of thing.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 04/2001

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