About the album CLOSURE (2014)
Review at Crucial Blast
Album number three from this Bulgarian blackened doom duo further descends through the band's strikingly gorgeous symphonic heaviness, which for some reason continues to be overlooked by most in the metal underground. I just don't get it - Darkflight's previous 2008 album Perfectly Calm was one of the most massive, moving doom epics I've picked up in recent years, combining vast, exquisitely crafted melodies imbued with an almost cinematic scope, awash in swells of aural heartache and laced with progressive tendencies that were way more refined than most bands in the field. Not to mention, some of the heaviest doom ever. And this new one treads similar ground, radiating with that same sad, sumptuous sense of grandeur, the crushing slow-motion doomscape interwoven with wistful melodies and gorgeous bleary-eyed hooks that most shoegazer bands would hack an arm off for; there are moments on Closure that feel as though they could have been lifted right off of an Envy album, even.
True, the production is a little murkier and more low-fi this time around, but it still works for me, those sweeping orchestral elements (an array of synthesized strings, horns and woodwinds) that wash across the opening track "Worse Things Than Dying" becoming subsumed into the dense roiling heaviness, slow, ponderous drumming shifting into more frenetic rhythms as the duo builds into their dramatic eruptions. Multiple lead guitars are layered and intertwined throughout their songs, curling around the surging synths that swell into sweetly despondent orchestral pop over that crushing deathdoom, and more than once these captivating melancholic melodies come close to evoking some monstrous, blackened, deathdoom version of an Agalloch or Alcest. Scathing distant screams stretch far across the byzantium glow of the horizon, occasionally replaced with a gloomy half-spoken delivery that brings a heavy gothic feel to those moments, and violins and woodwinds, piano and acoustic guitars bloom into mournful gorgeous laments, joined by beautiful sorrowful guitar harmonies rising over the thunderous slow-mo crush. The eight songs coalesce into an overwhelmingly emotional blast of doleful doom-laden atmosphere, stunning orchestral gloompop fused to a monstrous monolithic doom-laden power that eventually makes its way to the gorgeous symphonic instrumental prog of the closing song "Limbo (Alive And Well)". Really, folks, give this stuff a listen. Adam © CRUCIAL BLAST
Review at Vibrations Of Doom
And here we are, 11 years after their first full length release, and SIX YEARS after we reviewed their second masterpiece "Perfectly Calm." Folks, it seems like Ivo has not even started to run out of ideas, this being another fantastic emotionally soaring piece of work. The guitar work is superb, the lead solos are crafted with emotion and precision, and the vocals are some of the most twisted, icy and tortured yet... Dark, doomy and ominous is how the opener 'Worse Things Than Dying' starts out, and it just gets better. Great symphonics and thunderous percussion all adds to the bombastic elements on display, and I even heard some flute notes in here! Beautiful but sad is how the title track starts out; a fitting song and one of my favorites on the record. You can definitely hear the pain behind those blackened screams. And of course some of the most moving guitar work occurs towards the end of this cut. 'Contemplating Suicide,' worth every second of the 10+ minutes here, one of three songs that crosses the 10 minute threshold. I must say this CD drops a few points off at track 4, 'Cognitive Dissonance,' with the start/stop synthesized notes starting off this song; trumpet like notes that reminds me strongly of Dimmu Borgir on some of their most popular tunes. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm no hater of modern day Dimmu, but this didn't sound like Darkflight much, and it takes a full minute and a half before the ship rights itself. Once it does, it still retains that doom metal vibe and of course the ancient sounding, icy vocal work NEVER stops. At 11:33, 'Day In, Day Out' turns into the longest track on the disc, and probably crafts the most amazing amount of brilliant lead guitar work (hell, I bet this track alone took a few years to materialize!) on the disc! There's a lot of rain and storm sounds ending some of the tracks, and here is no exception. And wow, a track that clocks in at a mere 3:45? Yep, it's 'Monument Of Sadness,' and it's NOT an instrumental! Beautiful synths and piano notations at the start of this make you think it's going to be an instrumental, but once the vocals kick in, all doubt is relinquished. Crunchy guitars are found on hand on the previous cut 'It Wasn't Meant To Be,' and CD ender 'Limbo' IS the lone instrumental. Though some might question a 6:23 instrumental song, it keeps MY interest until the very end with melodic and beautiful synth passages (ambient landscapes almost), mixed with pianos and acoustic guitar work. It's not one for the heaviness column, but you could tell his tracks lead the album towards a melodic ending, as if to give a fitting bit of "closure." Folks, I don't see much else in black metal (as of this writing) that would leave Darkflight in the dust; I daresay (especially after Agalloch's 2014 album seemingly more experimental and not as mind blowing as past works) this will be THE black metal album of 2014... Ivo continues to astound and amaze... Stephen Cannon
Review at Sputnik Music
Creating an experience that both tells a story and at the same time lets your mind wander, summoning a specific set of emotions that are rendered mostly inexplicable when one seeks words to describe them sounds nearly impossible. But that's exactly what Darkflight has done. This is the album the band has been working themselves up to since they started out, making its title all the more appropriate.
Closure starts off with a slow motion explosion of atmospheric synth, gritty, downtuned angry guitar, and even angrier screams. You feel shoved backward, then overwhelmed by the breadth of instrumentation, but its all pulled back in time to let you take it in (or try to) before another wave comes, bigger than the last. Worse Things Than Dying builds, retreats, back-builds, and retreats again, and then before you find what you're feeling, its on to the next track.
Dual guitars are layered in such a way that it often sounds like they are echoes of each other, but there are almost always two distinct melodies to listen for at any given time. Orchestral elements are present throughout, and occasionally feature; their main purpose however is to act as a catalyst, bringing scope and presence to the core instruments rather than seeking to overtake them. The vocals are perfectly interspersed, breaking up the spiraling rhythm of riffage and rumbling drums akin to a swimmer in a desperate race to shore, turning his head for those crucial breaths. The bass is simple and steady, a nearly smothered but still perceptible guide that often allows streches of songs that seem to be panning out too far to stay afloat. Combined with soft, uncomplicated touches of piano and atmospherics that range from synth swells to crows cawing and rain battering a dilapidated shelter, its all almost too much.
And yet the length of the songs combined with an overall slow pace, and softer quieter sections that are positioned just where they need to be and that leap back into those powerful dueling melodies capture your attention over and over. Sparse bits of spoken word break up the tortured cries and an occasional bassline feature form a seemingly complete picture that is still and always hiding something you can't quite put your finger on. By the time Monument of Sadness hurls you into a burning bright light only hinted at before, you realize that there is more content, both in the song structures and in the emotional content of each track, and the album as a whole, than you could ever grasp with just a few playtroughs.
This is something meant to be explored many times and appreciated on many levels, for reasons limited only by your imagination. Whether or not this transcends genres, or destroys conventions can be left for the purists to decide. You could argue that the spoken word is in poor taste, or that some of the synthesized elements are overdone, but that's nitpicking at imperfections in the presentation of the dish rather than just taking a bite with your eyes closed and focusing on the depressing, delectable symphony of flavors Darkflight has concocted. Every time you listen, your experience will change and it is this inherent adaptation to your surroundings and your mood that makes this album a unique and demanding trek across musical landscapes you swear you've traversed before but find yourself lost in, and blissfully so. by PortalofPerfection 5/5
Review at Lords Of Metal
Sometimes you come by a release that is difficult to categorize due to all the different influences, this is such a release. Black, doom, rock and that is not the end of the list. Musically they continue what they started on their earlier albums ‘Under The Shadow Of Fear’ and ‘Perfectly Calm’ but they did make a move towards a more depressing ambiance, there is absolutely nothing joyful on this album. It reminds of Drudkh and Agalloch but a bit calmer. The pace is dragging forth, the melodies and vocals that sound like they come from far have an iron grip on the listener. This album has a lot of variation and does not bore a single moment, it grabs you at the start only to let go after about an hour with a completely symphonic ending. Excellent album!
Johan Z 82/100
About the album PERFECTLY CALM (2008)
Review at Crucial Blast
Filled with heartrending beautiful synthesizer melodies and awesome cosmic keys, this Bulgarian duo stand out bigtime with this stunning new album of blackened melodic doom that just came out recently from Ars Magna. Perfectly Calm belies it's title with crushing epic doom metal laced with those signature electronic elements that are a huge, huge part of their sound - the core sound of Darkflight is super slow, lumbering doom in the tradition of My Dying Bride, Thergothon, and Disembowelment, all massive crushing minor-key riffage and thunderous drumming drenched in reverb, and with harsh blackened growls soaring over top, the songs huge and epic sounding, every track filled with amazingly beautiful melodic soloing and soaring majestic melodies, ultra heavy and utterly filled with sorrow and longing.
All of that by itself would make this one of the better funeral/death doom albums that I've heard this year, no doubt about it, but with the fucking devestating keyboard melodies and sheets of spacey, heavily textured Tangerine Dream-style ambient synthesizers that swoop and blurt and fill almost every corner of this album, it immediately becomes one of my favorite albums of 2008, and quite possibly my fave doom album of the year. This music is so beautiful and spacey and insanely heavy, filled with not just those killer kosmiche synths and unbelievable melodies, but also swells of sorrowful violin strings, dark droning buzzsaw feedback, bleak folky acoustic interludes, and what even sound like huge brass fanfares buried down in the buzzing blackened guitars and thunderous slow-motion beats, bringing additional levels of epicness to the music. It's funereal New Age cosmic doom immersed in 70's style prog electronics, more melodic and beautiful than any other black/doom outfit in recent memory. Highly recommended!
Review at Vibrations Of Doom
What an amazing album! This, the followup to their 2002 release "Under The Shadow Of Fear" album was well worth the wait. The production, obviously, is much better this time around (though I didn't have a problem with the production on their last release), and it makes for some striking differences. First of all, the percussion is thunderous and gives a rather cavernous impression, while the guitars are mixed with the synths rather well. Lots of high ended guitar work, and some of the darkest instrumentation Ivo has recorded in his career. The pace is consistently doomy, and one slight comment is that the tracks rarely vary in tempo from start to finish. However, the mood and atmosphere DOES change, quite frequently, from song to song (and often within the framework of every song), so while on a tune like 'L'Ether Astral' you're hearing dark synths accompanied by light, almost etherial piano notes, you'll ALSO hear some dark and heavy guitar work, and believe me the high ended leads are a definite highlight of the album. There are no female vocals on this album AT ALL, so what you get vocal wise is very harsh and echoey black metal vocals, almost whispered like quality like from Agalloch, but much more resonant and booming. 'Dissolving Into Nothingness' is one of the highlights of the album, with some killer atmosphere, and rather rich synths that portray horn sounds and gives this tune that epic touch. 'Distant Pain' is most noteworthy for adding an ultra heavy and doomy atmosphere, yet to add melodic acoustical guitars and a change of emotions all in one song. 'Perfectly Calm,' the title track, obviously sounds rather contradictory from first listen, especially with the haunting instrumentation giving way to some melodic acoustical guitar work, guitar work that stays right with the synths all the way to the end. Epic, dark and sorrowful with a melodic and melancholic touch, Darkflight has made a masterpiece of doomy and atmospheric black metal. CD ender 'L'Ether Astral' is a 10 minute piece that has only instrumentation for the first almost 4 minutes, setting up a mood before the harsh vocals kick in, only to end the track with solo synth passages. Every note, every emotion on this disc will make you FEEL something, and it's all done to a rather slow, doom metal pace. HIGHLY recommended if you think harsh music can't invoke any emotional or melodic feelings. I sincerely hope this band gets much more attention than it's getting now. A highlight for 2008.
Review at Aquarius Records
Yet another warehouse find, discovered a tiny handful of this, the last full length from one from Bulgarian blackened doom metallers Darkflight, whose sound is a killer mix of dirgey doom, soaring symphonic majesty, and haunting melodic ambience, the songs super dense and extremely heavy, but even at their heaviest, they ooze melancholy, the guitars unfurling melancholic melodies, and tangling up in minor key harmonies, while the riffs churn and the drums pound, all wreathed in soaring strings and swirling shimmer, with occasional acoustic guitar and brief stretches of hushed thrum. But for the most part, these tracks, trudge and lumber, super emotional and darkly moving doom-ed heaviness, that reminds us of Shape Of Despair or Skepticism, but often ends up sounding more like a doom metal Alcest or a more metal Nadja.
Review at Ethereal Soundscapes
Darkflight lands between heavily synths-influenced black metal, and melancholic doom. An album which genre is hard to describe, but for sure unusual, maybe unique. Tempos are usually very low, and raw production makes the sound even harsher, yet the stunning guitar and synths melodies successfully shine in the mix. Vocals are kept a step behind, with strong reverb, making some kind of voice from the underworld, all this merged with logic and consistance. However, the most intense part here is now how the sound is delivered, but how melancholy and beauty are spread through the eight songs. Needless to say that you have to love low tempos and ambient stuff here, with deep and sad emotions. Ready to take your first dark flight?
Review at Metal Archives
Looking for some 2008's new metal releases from eastern-europe and checking in countries like Rumania, Bulgaria and Czech republic, nations that traditionally are owners of great black metal groups and in overall weird but good pagan and folk metal bands I found "Darkflight" and I thought that would be a good deal give it a check, after all I wasn't expecting anything special and the band's name it was very suggestive for me. DarkFlight is a project from Bulgaria leaded by the well known musician Ivo Iliev, metal-archives labels the band as Black/Doom Metal but the band embraces many different genres in its music: Epic, Symphonic, Ambiental and Depressive keeping the same vein of its previous release "Under the Shadow of Fear"and preserving the catchiness, depression and despair. The album for sure will be one of the betters album of the year. Perfectly calm starts off (first part) with a medieval-symphonic and melancholic touch that runs for trying to create an atmospheric passage which is easily accomplished, "Indifferent" shows the display of powerful soundscapes and slow vibe that will rise even more in the following tracks, a great opener that sets the vibe for the emotions, keep an eye the violins presence, voices and ambient, this is a song that may seem out there at first, but will grow on you over time. "Dissolving into Nothingness" (Second track), deserves a special mention, depression, emotion and despair running throught the violins, dense fog rising on the vocal work and despaired atmosphere, simply 7 perfect minutes of atmospheric black metal with an epic touch, indeed the highlight in the whole album and simply stunning??? "Distant Pain" keeps the same vein of the first two, even accoustic guitars are added to the background, the atmosphere provides a dense feeling and the symphonic touch appears again in the last part, the title track "Perfectly Calm" adds keyboards that sum up even more emotions to the whole album and here is when the Forgotten Tomb memories arrive, this track projects anguish and pain in to the minds of the listener and the distant and eerie keyboard does its work. After 4 eerie and atmospheric tracks "perfectly calm", turns in a more accoustic and even more ambiental album, "Yet here I stand" starts off with a very similar Alcest approach, being so varied, melodic, and versatile but soon the track take the way of the previous tracks, the desperate harsh vocals never ceases, and at this point the instrumental part has wider importance..., in the "Regard D'Outre Monde" the music is reminiscent once more to alcest and finally "L'Ether Astral" offers an atmospheric intro full of melodies, symphonic backgrounds and eerie sounds that complete the 8 anguish tracks and almost forces you to give it one more spin to the whole album. Depressive approach and symphonic/medieval touch. Powerful sound, distant atmospheric keyboards, melodic guitars and harsh vocals, dirty production but in overall a great album. if you like bands like "Fear of eternity", "Forest of Shadows" , "Forgotten Tomb" and "Alcest" then I recommend it strongly.
89% by InternalStruggle
Review at Elegia Eterna SPANISH
Para los que ya escucharon el fabuloso Demo de adelanto �Distant Pain� sepan que este nuevo disco no le escapa a ese continuo sonar epico. Fondo de batalla pero sin espadas, propio de la naturaleza por la naturaleza. Surgiendo en modo de elevacion dentro de los valles, empezando con cierto planeo visual por el sotobosque hasta sus mismas copas, para luego despegar aun mas alto a esas montanas que en primer momento hacian de horizonte cercano y cercado de dicho escenario. Espejos de aguas, mallines, pajaros y baldios. El amplio proscenio delante de nosotros. Perfectly Calm en todo su esplendor. De ahi a lo confuso que se hace todo al adentrar en lo brumoso de las nubes donde lo rectilineo e inmenso de un rayo solar choca sobre el rostro, fascinando las retinas hasta el fastidio y de seguido el desfallecimiento de existencia, solamente por ese metabolismo de existir y por tener el privilegio como espectador a semejante obra. O nunca escucharon decir al finalizar una obra �Ahora me puedo morir tranquilo! Lo terrible es que esa �catarsis� sucede desde el vamos, con la primera cancion, preparandonos a cierto dinamismo cargado de placer para las restantes siete canciones. Por suerte y para mi, las letras de este nuevo y segundo lp se alejan de lo fantastico Tolkiano de su primer disco por decirlo de alguna manera. Acercandose mas a algo asi como a poesias, que bien podrian ser parte �de las flores del mal� de un original Baudelaire. Sin dudarlo puedo decir que mi track favorito es la que hace de apertura �Indifferent� como dije antes por todo eso de cautivarme de primera, sin tener que someterme a varias escuchas para desterrar esos ocultos placeres que suelen esconder trabajos como estos. Y por lo pronto me genera nostalgia, y lo que voy a decir a continuacion no se debe a que alla en si muchos puntos de coincidencias, pero si se enmarca en ese sonido y me refiero a que estos Bulgaros nos demuestran como debe sonar un �A Wintersunset ...� o un �Dance Of December Souls� en estos tiempos que corren. Puede que esta ultima descripcion comparativa sea un atajo facilista para mi, pero como bandas de Black/Doom hay por doquier, y pocas son las que me terminan de convencer de verdad, o mejor dicho perdurar sin caer en el olvido, prefiero nombrar cuales iconos y que sea lo vertiginoso de un pasado reciente el que me lo demande. Y para ir terminando Darkflight logra con este nuevo disco superarse, por lo multiple de arreglos, el uso de buenas ideas ya preestablecidas, el masivo pero no abusivo uso de un teclado como a mi mas me gusta, el desgarro de una vos que provoca tiempos de angustias continuamente y lo mas importante de todo las punzantes melodias proyectadas por esas guitarras tan necesarias en este medio y atencion a ciertos momentos arpegiados ya que son los que terminan de dibujar el lugar (madera, hielo. agua, aire y tierra). Seguramente la ya nombrada �Indifferent� o la homonima �Perfectly Calm� o ese final con �L'Ether Astral� hagan en total del disco un himno en si.
Review at Aernitas Tenebrarum
This come as a surprise, a sort of solo project from Bulgary playing a very emotive and deep kind of a dark epic symphony played with skillfully choices on the keyboards parts and sound. This can be the appropriate soundscape for the Lord of The Ring legend or something related to the most apocalyptic and threatening side of fantasy culture. Summoning surely rule on this way but this project is in my ear more somber and with less solar moments. Darkflight is more a trip to valleys, ruins, forgotten places left to tell their stories. The good quality of this cool offer is something I can't ignore, the right music to see the things from another perspective of this one of the ordinary days, like an eagle, this can be like searching for our inner self, in solitude, in consciousness or in perdition. The negative mood is the dominant one, like a decadent hymn, the quality is always very high and there are very few moments where the tension fall apart. The female vocals are very mystic but in some moments they aren't so well fused inside the overall vision. Apart from that this non-metal release is something appreciable.
Review at Exclaim!
Although it starts off much like a doom metal soundtrack for Dr. Who, Darkflight's Under the Shadow of Fear is more fantasy than sci-fi. Songs drenched in many-textured synth orchestrations evoke a new age kind of feel, but gloomy, laden with fear and threat. Obviously the mood and title go hand in hand. Darkflight is a one-man project, except for a guest female vocalist. That, and its slow, slow pace may account for the album's barrenness, Darkflight's sound is big and ominous, but in its own way, simplistic as well. The overwhelming extent of keyboard use on the CD might be a bit suffocating for some, but devotees of the genre should appreciate Darkflight's brooding charm and careful craftsmanship. Of special mention: the track "A Call for the Dragons".
Review at Metal Nightmare
Black metal with no guitars that I can hear, only keyboards. Still comes across as being very dark and brooding though. It actually works, despite being all synth driven. I guess this is one of the few bands doing that kind of thing right. Everyone else, take notes!
Review at BABYLON
I don't have much to say about this band indeed, the attached biography to the promo is long 2 lines and it just tells the kind of music the band plays (epic fantasy metal with high gothic grandeur, symphonic orchestration, black metal frosts, heroic doom and ethereal splendour) and their origin (Bulgaria). Other than that, on their past i don't know, i can instead say that in practice that's one man project that answers to the name of Ivo Iliev, accompanied here and there with the female voice of Tatyana Teneva. To speak honestly, this disc is not at all bad, and i think that's a good mix between the more atmospheric Mortiis, the gothic, epic metal of nordic kind (to mention Falkenbach and Bathory) and symphonic black metal. Surely nothing new under the sun, but in spite of all done good and with zeal... Also the very beautiful voice of Tatyana gives warmth and sensuality. Amazing is the artwork, created by the master of fantasy arts Christophe Vacher. I don't have nothing else to add.
Review at Mindview
Darkflight is real gothic from Bulgaria. Not just a record that disapears in the mass. No, Darkflight really tries to stick their head above the rest and they do so very well. Now and then, you can compare their style with bands as The Sins of Thy Beloved, although i still find them a little better. The music style goes in the direction of Nightwish, though not as bombastic as they are. The voice is uncomparable. The Darkflight female singer sounds childish, fragile and now and then a little bit out of tune. Although this maybe could give it a little extra.
Review at Vibrations Of Doom Magazine
I really dig this band. Apparently a one man project from Bulgaria, this is some VERY well crafted, um, dare I say black metal??? Well, the vocal work of Ivo is absolutely sick!! And you all know how I love my black metal, utterly sick and devoid of that "human" sound... Hee hee... Anyway, yes, the blackened vocals are quite harsh but it's the music that grabs you! Virtually absent are the guitars on this release, well, at first anyway. I've listened to this about 9 or 10 times and the guitars are THERE, but some of the heavier guitars are so processed they almost don't sound real. Ivo also utilizes some acoustic guitars, but the synths are the main instrument here. And what sounds like a drum machine, as it reminds me of the electronic drums Ground:Xero uses. All that aside, the songs do have a melancholic, epic and melodic feel to them, and the tempo of the tracks is usually quite slow, though not doom metal oriented. 'Moonlight Battle,' 'Black Spirit,' 'Under The Shadow Of Fear...' Quite fantasy oriented lyrics do abound. The lone ballad here 'To Die In Your Arms...' well, I usually shun the ballad, but this has such emotional instrumentation on it, it's absolutely amazing! It will take your soul to depths you never knew existed! Oh, and did I mention there's a female vocalist? She turns up on many tracks, but is never overused, and sounds wonderful. 'A Call For The Dragons' had some nice medieval styled trumpets to go along with the majestic and slower synths. 'Occult Rituals' had a rather dark atmosphere, and some haunting synths as well. I do have to say I thought some of the instrumentation on the ending track 'Alone Somewhere Beyond' could have been constructed a little better, but if you're a black metal purist you're going to avoid this anyway. It's amazing just how brutal and sick the vocals can be while adding mood, atmosphere, and melancholic yet serene atmosphere, and the instrumentation on this record paints the biggest and most amazing pictures you'll hear in music. A must have.
Review at Metallian
Darkflight is one man band, consisting of writer musician Ivo Iliev, who composed and performed the whole concept of "Under The Shadow Of Fear" album. The composer who comes from Bulgaria will lead you into the catacombs of original epic dark metal, telling you a stories and fiction adventures about magic, rituals, beasts and battle. Black metal passages, symphonic orchestrations, doom melancholy and gothic moods are battling the struggle for the listener's spiritual travel. Although there's some weaknesses (the repeating drum beats) this composer, coming from the east achieved his primal aim - summoning dark images into the listener's mind.
Review at Silent Stream
Darkflight is the solo project of the bulgarian Ivo Iliev, that conceived a majestic opera and released it with the single help from Tatyana Teneva as far as the female vocals are concerned. It's not easy to describe the music of this band, continuously in search for dreamy and atmospherical solutions, that builds his own compositions on a very strong doom basement, and then on very dilated round riffs and on a dry rhythmical section, and spice that all with the work of keyboards, that are engaged in creating the sound structures and to give all the compositions a strong sad atmosphere, full of pain, almost desperate. Maybe the best paragons for this work should be chosen within the dark scene, bands that make of orchestrations one of the characteristics of their sound, and I'm thinking of truly emotional acts like Empyrium. But that's just half fitting, because the black metal roots (expecially in the use of vocals) they use allow to put it close to examples of primal and experimental black metal: "The Eclipse of Life" is an explanatory song in this sense, as built as it is on a sort of apocalyptic dark folk like the early Abruptum or the huge Void of Silence. "Under the Shadow of Fear" is a truly out of the schemes offer, based on truly emotional and a-musical orchestrations, that owns some disrupting charm and inner strenght. A compelled purchase this year, to listen to in darkness.
Review at Terrorizer
An interesting little album this. Known for their non-conformist signing policy, ROA have again turned up something a little bit different which, although roughly hewn, has much to recommend it. Darkflight is a one-man operation (warning bells are being sounded now i can hear...) and although many such setups have historically proved little more than poorly-executed masturbatory fantasies, bulgarian Ivo Iliev has clearly had the objectivity to pull this off (pun intended). Driven by simplistic keyboards and sparse, brittle guitar, there's as much goth here as there's metal, but Iliev avoids most of the usual pitfalls associated with the conjoining of these genres through pure naivety, or so it seems. Uncluttered and airy, many of the pieces here would cease to function in the hands of six or seven egoistical musicians battling to be heard, but Darkflight's approach also harbours the album weaknesses. With a drum machine providing the central drive and a home recording space supplanting the advantages of a proffesional facility, 'Under The Shadow...' sounds just a tad too much like an excellent demo and would have benefited greatly from some expert knob-twiddling. It's tricky to know where Darkflight might fit in within the mutable terminology of metal, but only Green Carnation spring to mind when one considers music a million miles from the leather'n'studs cliches but which could find a home nowhere else. A promising first step.
Review at Lords Of Metal
Darkflight? Didn't I already have something of that band? Nope, that was Dark Light, an Italian gothic thingy. Nice, but not out of this world. How about Darkflight? That is a different story! First, it's Bulgarian, second it's black metal with gothic and doom influences. But is it out of this world? Read on and decide for yourself. The ingredients: A lovely (friendly) female voice in the distance, black grunts, dominant (yet not in an annoying way), heavy keyboards, drums that vary form wild to subtle and intense guitars. More intense than Summoning, but it does remind me of them from time to time. This is partly due to the grunts that are in the back, just like the female vocals, which gives the band a typical sound. This sound can be ascribed to mister Ivo Iliev (Dreamflight, indeed), who is solely responsible for the music and the lyrics. With the help of the beautiful, almost fairy-like voice of Tatyana Teneva. How about the rest? Ivo Iliev. Everything? Everything! And can this gentleman be proud of what he has achieved? Sure! "Under The Shadow Of Fear" is a very atmospheric album. Only the art work was not done by him but by the French Christophe Vacher (his site is very worth visiting if you're into fantasy-art..). Mr Iliev's music tells nearly mythical stories about magic, adventure, battle and other mediaeval themes. His lyrics, therefore, are very suitable for people who are into Tolkien, for instance. The atmosphere of the album is dark, but lighter tunes as in "The Eclipse Of Life" are a positive exception. A good album, with a fitting end that makes it a whole. Good Job, Ivo!
Review at Into Obscurity
What an ethereal trip Darkflight is. The first time through "Under the Shadow Of Fear", I was a bit puzzled. After a few more listens, I finally got the idea. This one-man project play what most people would consider symphonic, gothic black metal. There's only one catch - the guitar is practically non-existent! Ivo Iliev, the mastermind behind this work, relies on a keyboard alone to provide both the melodies and harmonies for the soundtrack to his tempermental and tortured lyrical scrawlings. I'm not sure if there's a guitar or not, to be honest. There are moments on the CD where it sounds like a guitar may be playing, but it's so buried in the background and quiet compared to the main keyboard that it's difficult to tell whether it's the actual instrument or a keyboard being played on the guitar setting. Darkflight also use a drum machine which plays sorrowfully slow drum beats to give this a very doomy feel. The only outside help comes in the form of a female voice which is used more to provide atmosphere more than anything else. "Under the Shadow of Fear" is definitely an acquired taste. If the sounds of majestic, gothic black metal tickle your fancy - take note. With the lack of a large guitar presence, Darkflight play music that sounds more like the soundtrack to a "Conan: The Barbarian" sequel than a metal record.