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Birmingham’s Dakesis certainly put in the mileage before producing their first album, ‘Trial By Fire’. Since their formation in 2008, the band have toured up and down the country and have self- released an EP before recording this album “via all means accessible” (including a kitchen if their website’s to be believed), so it’s no wonder that this is a predominantly lo-fi power metal offering, although that in itself doesn’t detract from the music as a whole. The first thing to note is the artwork, which, although the band seems proud of what they commissioned, is a bit naff to say the least. Then again, maybe I’m the only one who isn’t a fan of faint, slightly out of proportion fantasy cover art. It’s clear that all members of the band have their place in creating the album, with particular attention being paid to the use of vocals. Having more than one singer in a band can often lead to one being seen as the lead vocalist but this isn’t really the case with Dakesis.

The first half of the album is pretty standard fare within the genre. Even the intro, ‘Shield of Achilles I’, seems to bare no resemblance to the following track, making it seem more than a bit disjointed. There is a general lack of direction and some of the levelling issues can be a bit off putting, although this does seem to be most rectified by the time you reach the mid-point in the album (but it is worth soldiering on). There are sparks of potential from the band throughout the album, mainly when they try to breakout of the power metal mould. A prime example of this is a simple yet elegant ‘Broken’. The band seems to excel when it makes use of having both male and female vocals and this is a perfect example of this. Even the following track, ‘Into The Light’, although straying back towards the heavy-end of the genre, offers something a little different from the early tracks on the album. The whole thing has more diversity and depth and is noticeably heavier both in the guitar work and vocal-style.

The problem that many power metal bands suffer from is that, once you’ve committed yourself to being part of the genre, it’s generally quite easy to know what to expect. Unfortunately, Dakesis fall into this category; whilst they are more than capable musically, there’s nothing particularly genre-defining here. However, there are glimpses of potential that could catapult the band into another league, depending on how they play it…
Review by Siân Williams
2nd Nov 2011
1) Shield of Achilles I
2) Trial By Fire
3) Liar
4) After the Storm
5) On Wings of Steel
6) Broken
7) Into the Light
8) Valhalla
9) To the End
10) Shield of Achilles II
11) 440 (King of the Road)
"...whilst they are more than capable musically, there’s nothing particularly genre-defining here."