Jun 2011 17

Cover Image
The Dark Clan
Category: Punk / Goth / Metal
Album: Fade
Stars: 2
Blurb: The Dark Clan surprises with a record vastly different than their previous work.


Fade is the second record in the two CD set that also features Dance Magic Dance. While Dance Magic Dance was a more straightforward electronic recording encompassing many of the different styles in the genre, Fade is a vastly different record bouncing around in different genres and leaving the listener a bit confused as to where Dan Clark and company are headed on the record. Half of the record feels like an homage to an era gone by and the other half feels like its feet are firmly planted in the European gothic metal scene.

The album starts out familiar enough with and acoustic opener called “Maybe You Fall” featuring vocals by Patricia Wake, a very melancholy song about addiction and finding your happiness someplace in your life and if you can’t find that happiness, you’re sunk and not waiting around anymore for you to find it. It’s a depressing song with straight ahead vocals by both Clark and Wake, decent but nothing special and not nearly as catchy as some of The Dark Clan’s other material. From here, the album steps into the wilds of uncharted territory. The title track starts things out with a bang of ‘80s metal guitar and Styx styled synths, both right up front with the vocals bringing to mind a giant arena. Clark sets his sites for the stars on the rest of album, bringing about enormous production values and huge rocking guitar solos. “Fade” and “Won’t.Stop” are probably the two tracks right away that bring the guitar into your face, pounding, but not so much in a contemporary metal feel, but in much more of an ‘80s vibe. To an extent, these songs sound dated and perhaps even a bit stale. The next song on the record, “Jus Sanguinis” brings back the keyboards and the female vocals, feeling like it is straight out of the gothic metal scene in Europe. It’s a strong song with strong vocals, but it just doesn’t feel like The Dark Clan has their heart in this as much as the material from Dance Magic Dance.

By the time we get to the fifth song on the record, the listener isn’t quite sure what to expect and Clark unleashes a metal fury on the instrumental track “Technical Difficulties.” Guitar shredding abounds on this track, feeling like Clark is unleashing his inner spandex-wearing metal dude on this track. If any of the tracks on this album are a misfire for fans, this would be the one as it feels out of place and a bit like a tongue-in-cheek joke; maybe that’s what it is, but this writer didn’t get it and didn’t really care for it.

Not until we get to the song “Silent K” do we get something that is more down-tempo and moody and more what The Dark Clan does best with a kind of trip-hop feel to it. Again, it’s not a standout track on the album, but it’s decent enough for repeated listening. After that, The Dark Clan unleashes their ‘80s punk rock fire on the listener as the last three tracks could easily fit into any punk catalog from that decade or from the recent revival of punk bands with synths. It’s not to say that these songs are bad or don’t work; they do, but they just sound dated and like a retread of material that we’ve all heard before.

While Dance Magic Dance worked on many different levels, Fade does just that – it fades from memory and doesn’t leave a lot in it for repeated listening. Dan Clark’s production is topnotch and the songwriting is really strong; it’s just that the music didn’t work as a whole and left this writer, as it will to fans, confused.
Track list:

  1. Maybe You Fall (feat. Patricia Wake)
  2. Fade
  3. Won’t.Stop
  4. Jus Sanguinis
  5. Technical Difficulties
  6. Aged and Evil
  7. Silent K
  8. FAC501
  9. Seething Under Smiles
  10. Anthem

The Dark Clan Website http://thedarkclan.com
The Dark Clan MySpace http://www.myspace.com/thedarkclan
The Dark Clan Facebook http://www.facebook.com/thedarkclan
The Dark Clan BandCamp http://thedarkclan.bandcamp.com
Radio.Active.Music Website http://www.radio-active-music.com
Radio.Active.Music MySpace http://www.myspace.com/radioactivemusic
Radio.Active.Music Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Virginia-Beach-VA/Radio-Active-Musiccom/130074466228
Purchase at:
Amazon MP3
Gabe Wilkinson (Microwaved)

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