Darkyra Black – Fool

Darkyra Black 
Released 18th September 2015
Symphonic Metal
Released via Darkyra Black/ Cargo Records

‘Fool’ is the second album from the Australian symphonic metal artist Darkyra Black. It is the follow-up to her debut ‘Dragon Tears’, which released last year. The band is primarily a solo project of the singer and songwriter Gina Bafile, who has worked with various European rock and metal musicians in order to create this album. This release is a concept album about “the people seen come and go at the fountain of wishes, the fountain built for kings and queens of the past”. It is composed of two sections entitled ‘Fools of the Past’ and ‘Faces by the Fountain’.

Female-fronted symphonic or Gothic metal bands are a dime in a dozen these days. Ever since the birth of Nightwish in the mid 90s there has been more and more of these popping up hoping to become the next big thing. The problem is that for every Amberian Dawn or Leaves Eyes, there’s a least ten other similar bands out there fighting for their chance for fame. Nonetheless, I tried my best to stay objective and give Darkyra Black a go…

After a quick listen to the first few tracks it’s fairly easy to detect some similarities between these guys and Nightwish. For example, there’s the use of additional classical instruments and choirs to create that symphonic movie soundtrack feel, audible on tracks such as Of Fools and Gold and Bleed. Yet unlike Nightwish, which is very much centered around the the keyboards and vocals, this seems to be more guitar-driven with the keyboards acting as means to create the ambience while the vocals are at the forefront. Gina Bafile’s voice is powerful enough to be the dominant feature on most of the tracks. Who are They to Judge You? is a good example of just how well her vocal range fits to music. Her voice can be both soft akin to the likes of Within Temptation and compelling like the operatic style of After Forever.

Then we come to the second part of the album ‘Faces by the Fountain’, which continues along the same path as part one; offering six more songs to complete the perfect symphonic metal opera soundtrack to a fantasy adventure. For those who love operatic vocals, Flawless is the key track. If I had to pick out one song on here which highlights Ms Bafile’s skills as a singer, it would be this one. Another track which caught my attention was the beautifully crafted symphonic ballad that is It Takes 2 Kinds of Fools thanks to the enchanting orchestral intro and the delightful, skilfully executed story-telling vocals.

Overall this album turned out to be a pleasant surprise. It’s very easy to dismiss Darkyra as just another wannabe Nightwish clone. However, if you take your time to fully appreciate their music, you will discover that what Gina Bafile has created is something far more complex and unique.

Iza Raittila

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