I never thought I'd ever be giving anyone the same advice as Marcia Hines, but Gina Bafile from Caprycon, you really need to watch your pitch. You push yourself so far beyond the current limit of your range in the last section of "Sorrowchild" that it's painful to hear, so far off-key it set my teeth on edge. And your enunciation of the lyrics in the first couple of songs is so garbled, I thought at first you were singing in a foreign language.
That's a shame too, because in every other aspect, "Dark Earth" is a pretty decent slice of progressive metal. The playing is stellar, with some very nice jazzy bass lines from George Garofallou leading into the title track and plenty of great guitar work. The arrangements are progressive enough to make things interesting without trying to be too elaborate or quirky and the band injects flourishes of keys, strings and samples in all the right places. The early songs are spoiled by the singer's rather uneven performance, but on the darker, heavier "Falling into Winter" Bafile slips into a lower register which is much more impressive, making this one of the stand out tracks. The keys dominate on the melancholy "Empty" while a titanic guitar solo looms over "Symphony of Hate" that also features a Moog wailing into the fade. Bafile's vocals waver a little on this track too, but it's bareable.
Musically speaking, this is great progressive metal EP with some fine songs, excellent playing and spot-onp roduction. Bafile's thoroughly inconsistent performance just really lets it down, and the track order is jumbled on the back of CD cover. I'd like to hear more though, so I hope this is just a beginning.
1. Ebony Shores
2. Dark Earth
4. Desert Song
5. Falling Into Winter
7. Symphony of Hope