Sunday, March 21, 2010

Dofka – Humanity Bleak CD review

Dofka – Humanity Bleak CD (World Nations Records)
Yes, it’s true. West Virginia-based metallers have been preparing the ground with some live shows in the area and their new album is finally out. It’s been 20 (!) years since “Toxic Wasteland” was out and in the meantime Jim offered us very few but marvellous pieces of Metal music such as the unrepeatable, extraordinary Psycho Scream project (with Tim Aymar) on vocals. Jim still is in my humble opinion one of the most innovative virtuosos of our beloved music since he always maintain his style but manages at the same time to create original music with fluent technique. I could write endless line’s on Jim’s guitar playing since he had a tremendous impact on me throughout the years. However, the new album, “Humanity Bleak” was not a pleasant surprise for me. I realised the new Dofka CD follows a current direction in their style that doesn’t appeal to me. I am reffering to the mixture of death growl vocals that are mixed in most of the songs with clean and melodic ones. Dofka’s new singer Andrew D'Cagna has a fine melodic voice, but when he starts his guttural vocals the whole image is destroyed. And it’s a pity since thankfully the CD contains some songs that doesn’t include this “mix-to-match” vocal situation like the wonderful “Tragedy Remains” a few growls doesn’t ruin this great song), the splendid "World On Fire”, "Blood Runs Black" (outstanding mid-tempo hymn!) and the self-titled song (just listen to what kind of brilliant riff Jim composed here!) . These above mentioned songs show to us that Andrew’s voice is fine and doesn’t need growl vocals to spoil the whole picture. On the other hand, a Power Metal hymn like the song “Second God” left me with mixed emotions since on the chorus, the death metal vocals didn’t really let me to enjoy to the max the outstanding guitar work that Jim did once again. Jim Dofka’s solos are truly out of this world since his musical intelligence is proved here once again! But in songs like “Immaculate Lie” the death metal vocals truly doesn’t bring out the grandiose music that Jim created. I am writing this review as a long time Dofka fan and not as a reviewer. I long for the day that Dofka follow a clean vocal direction, since that is the way that will unleash their enormous talent. Andrew has the ability to sing properly so this line up has the ability to grow the Dofka franchise. If only they put aside the death metal vocals direction…
Dimitris Starakis

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