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Thursday, June 2, 2016

LP Review: 'The Wastelands' by DARKWALKER

I’m surprised it took so long, but I’m grateful it was DARKWALKER that did it—an epic rock masterpiece inspired by Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. The Wastelands is a 7-cut album that is reminiscent of Mastodon in tone and mood although DARKWALKER delivers more of a straight-ahead rock style instead of a proggy experience which works well for their songs.

The first record from this 3-piece out of Los Angeles is a tight and soulful journey into the world of The Dark Tower. “Black Thirteen” opens with a memorable chant that would fit in perfectly at an arena-rock sing-a-long. The band explores powerful vocal harmonies on “Crimson King” and “Memories of Another Life” while “Drawing of Three” and “Gunslingers” remind me of early Dokken. “The Battle of Devar-Toi” and “The Dark Tower” include fuzzed-out bass lines and a giddy-up rhythm. The only thing that disappointed me on my first listen of The Wastelands was that it ended.

From the DARKWALKER website:

“Wood, copper, nickel, and oil. These are some of the elements that come together to make musical instruments. Los Angeles band DARKWALKER uses these elements to manifest a sound that is both as Iconic and as skillfully crafted as the instruments they play. The band perfected a sonic alchemy that turns gritty guitar riffs, pounding drums, and rich melodic vocals into powerful soundscapes that take the listener into the halls of the rock and roll temple…With lyrics culled from Stephen King’s The Dark Tower book series, DARKWALKER focuses their magic on only one goal. To create the most honest and purified sounds their instruments and voices can achieve.”

Whether you’re a fan of The Dark Tower or not, treat yourself to an incredible treasure of rock songs drawing inspiration from some of the best genre fiction of our time. If this is DARKWALKER’s debut effort, I can’t imagine how incredible the next installment of the story will be.

“Go then, there are other worlds than these.”

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