Shadow Kingdom, jewelcase, The saga of...
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Shadow Kingdom, jewelcase, The saga of Italy’s DARK QUARTERER is one of the most unique around. Truly a CULT band among “cult bands,” DARK QUARTERER originally formed in 1974 under a different moniker, then mostly playing covers of progressive rock, hard rock, and early heavy metal before changing monikers in 1980 and writing their own songs. It would not be until 1985 when the band would record a demo, which comprised songs that would become their long-overdue debut album. Finally, that album, self-titled Dark Quarterer, would see release in 1987, and it proved that DARK QUARTERER were indeed a band out of time: very little sounded anything close to it back then, and its authentically rustic aura was undeniably “behind the times.” However, it is for those reasons – and myriad more – which has made DARK QUARTERER’s debut album such a special gem. Finding a unique wavelength where ‘70s prog structures found new flight through rumbling, roiling proto-metal, the Italians here created absolute EPICS that dazzled and defied in equal measure, ranging a vast array of dynamics and moods that made each of the original album’s six songs a special world unto itself. To say that the power-trio could “play” would be an understatement; to say that they took those chops and explored new vistas of the imagination whilst remaining tangibly raw and human would be even more accurate. For truly did DARK QUARTERER evince a rough-hewn edge that made their style of epic metal (before “epic metal” was even really a thing, unbeknownst to them) impossibly otherworldly and, in a word, MAGICKAL. Credit is equally due to vocalist/bassist Gianni Nepi, whose theatrical pipes sounded like the work of a warlock sequestered atop a mist-choked mountain. High adventure definitely awaited those brave enough to check out Dark Quarterer. Alas, the album was sorely “unfashionable” in a metal/rock landscape where big hair and bigger hooks were taking over radio and speed wars began in earnest in its underground. Undeterred, DARK QUARTERER continued on and further explored their rarefied muse, releasing six further full-lengths over the next 20 years and slowly-yet-surely finding their audience. But it is the band’s debut album, above all, where DARK QUARTERER’s legendry lay, and one that SHADOW KINDGOM saw fit to reissue (with gripping bonus track “Lady Scolopendra”) in 2013. Now the label will reissue the seven-song version of the album on all formats, including cassette for the first time ever and vinyl for the first time in nearly 20 years. Those who worship at the altar of Cirith Ungol, Manilla Road, and Brocas Helm, this is the record YOU CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT, from the original Italian sorcerers - DARK QUARTERER!

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