Sound — 9
The New Dark Age is the third studio album by the Finnish power metal band Kiuas and was released through Spinefarm Records on March 12th 2008. The track listing is as follows; 01. The Decaying Doctrine: this songkicks off the album in a blaze of double bass pedal, shredding guitar solos and an increibly catchy chorus which really demonstrates the vocal talent of singer Ilja Jalkanen. My joint favourite song on the album. 10/10 02. Conqueror: the second song is as epic as the first featuring some very nice riffs and drumming. 9/10 03. Kiuas War Anthem: does what is says on the tin (so to speak), this song gets the blood rushing and the adrenaline pumping and really should come with a heart attack warning. Bad jokes aside, this is my other favourite song on the album. 10/10 04. The New Dark Age: the title track is a good one, starting off with a pretty cool solo. However, the song doesn't appeal to me as much as the previous 3. 8/10 05. To Excel And Ascend: starts off with a sexy little Middle-Eastern riff before turning into a typical Kiuas song except for one difference. This song is growled in part (in the verses, the chorus is clean) by Jalkanen. This gies it an edge ad makes it stand out as being different. 9/10 06. Black Rose Withered: keeping in tune with To Excel And Ascends odd intro, Black Rose Withered opens with a piano bit before the band cmes in. Overall, good song and I recommend it if you're going walking. 8/10 07. After The Storm: oh my. I really wasn't expecting this. I'm all for acoustic songs done by metal bands and yes the musicianship off the guitar is good. However, the woman singing with Jalkanen just doesn't sound... right. It's hard to describe. Personally, I'm not a fan of this song. 6/10 08. Of Sacrifice, Loss And Reward: ah, back to the good stuff. A very enjoyable song, fast tempo, good musicianship. Very nice. 8/10 09. The Summoning: very solid song. Awesome solos. Nice backing music as well. 8/10 10. The Wandrers Lamentation: what a way to end the album. The verses are accompanied by a beautiful acoustic guitar before the heaviness kicks in. Excellent singing. 9/10
Lyrics — 9
You can tell from his voice in the music that Ilja Jalkanen isn't from an American band and that quality gives Kiuas' music an individualism missed by so many of the generic bands out there today. He has a very good voice which perfectly fits the style of the lyrics that Kiuas use. In terms of lyrics, the band use typical power metal themes of war, magic and religion. In this case, the epic, medieval lyrics fit with the grand sounding music to create a very unique and powerful sound.
Overall Impression — 9
This is the only Kiuas album I own so far but it certainly makes me want to buy another. I think it's a crime that Kiuas haven't yet made it big time but this album is a gem. If their next album is even a patch on this it will be a quality album worth owning. My personal favourite song is the opening track with it's chorus which was stuck in my head for weeks. I heartily recommend buying it.