Genre: Gothic, Symphonic Metal
Label: Humid Records
It’s been a while since a musician shoved a link in my mailbox and asked me to review their work. Seriously, when I first started reviewing metal six or so years ago, that was all I ever had in my inbox! Unsigned bands trying to get me to review their material. Nowadays, I have to go around begging bands for that! I’m not sure what changed here. Either people caught on that General Blaspheme and I have no fucking clue what we’re doing here or… something far less logical. Either way, why am I complaining? (Thanks Joan!)
Trocaria plays a blend of gothic, doom-ish and digital-symphonic metal that comes off sounding half vampire love rock, half Draconian (minus the constant female vocalage). The “symphonic” bits sound like slightly better renditions of Castlevainia level themes. It was fun firing up the ol’ NES and playing Dracula’s Curse with The Dark Nears blaring in the background.
8-Bit references aside, Trocaria put up a fierce first offering with The Dark Nears. Everything here (aside from the much too electronic sounding drum machine) is on par with signed bands five or six years their senior. Vocalist Jon S.’s growls are a bit on the Muppet-ish side of things for the most part, but occasionally he slips into a scream that makes you forget that he kinda sounds like a cookie munching toe sock. The rest of the band consists of guitarist, bassist, keyboardist and programmer Joan Palmer. Truth be told, the best thing about this album are the interesting hooks she comes up with. Listen three minutes into the track entitled Suicide, and you’ll hear the bests riffing on the album. It’s damn good and really catchy as a cold.
Unfortunately, her bass work could be fantastic but I’d never know since I can’t really make it out. To be fair, my speakers are starting to take a shit so it could be my computers fault and not hers. Still on the unfortunate side, there’s very little song variation and the variations that are there are so subtle that they will more than likely go unnoticed.
Overall: While The Dark Nears isn’t a particularly great album, it’s still something I’d strongly recommend that you look up for a listen. There’s a lot of heart here and the musician’s bare their souls through every note and that alone is worth a tiny bit of your time. Also, there is A LOT of potential here that you should get on there ground floor for.