Between Us

Dark Ages

In 2022, the band announced the release of their fifth and latest studio album: "Between […]
Dark Ages - Between Us album cover

In 2022, the band announced the release of their fifth and latest studio album: "Between Us" once again in partnership with Andromeda Relix. The concept album is the result of the need to tell the story of the human condition; to show how, when facing extreme situations, a person can face their fears with determination and courage. A "fairy tale" free from any definite characters or narrative constraints that allows every listener to have the chance to build their own story and to find their own personal meaning and subjective moral, as it usually happens in life. The album contains eight tracks.

"Pristine Eyes" leads off the album. Steady guitar notes along with bass and some keyboards provide the opening sequence. The vocals have a rasp to them while the keyboards rattle with an old school organ sound. The rhythms are quite melancholy. "Showdown" begins with vocals that are just a bit pitchy. The bass guitar work is excellent, and the lead guitar break has a full dose of wah-wah. This is clearly Progressive music as the song begins to wander a bit. "The Villain King" begins with more old school keys and some heavier rhythms. A thread of darkness permeates the album thus far, but I am unsure where the songs are headed. The vocals here again do not connect well with the instruments.

"Beyond" is the first straightforward song, beginning with soft and pretty acoustic guitars and some emotional vocals. The vocal harmonies shoot straight into the heavens. This is a very charming sound. "Our Lonely Shelter" begins with a bit of drum pyro. From there, it's a strange affair. Choppy rhythms lead to near rapped vocals. The band shows their skills as far as their musicianship, but again...where is this headed? The transitions into new passages is about as stark as you can get...they need to be a lot smoother. "The Great Escape" begins with keys and lamenting lead guitar notes. From there, a positive melody develops. Bass work is again strong, but the vocals are pitchy. What is with the occasional flute notes? The song can't seem to make up its mind as to whether or not it wants to be positive or negative.

"Riddle from the Stars" begins with a combination of keys and piano. Some grand guitar chords come in. This is often how songs start on the album...with a lot of potential that is soon dashed by rough connections and an inability to stick to one main melody. "There is no End" closes the's a 12-minute opus...unfortunately with plenty of room for the band to put their neck in the noose and pull the string. They move forward with energy, but you know the crash is coming. So much potential is wasted here. They do a decent job of following the main melody, but too many right turns mar their effort.

The band are strong musicians, but like a lot of Progressive music, many of the songs meander. I love Progressive music of all sorts, but this album left me with more questions than answers. The open-ended interpretation of the music does indeed leave the listener with the ability to make up their own mind, but my mind is muddled with connections that don't make much sense. The lack of accents also makes for a muddy listen...besides the few charming passages here and there, the album just doesn't do much for me.

5 / 10









"Between Us" Track-listing:

1. Pristine Eyes
2. Showdown
3. The Villain King
4. Beyond
5. Our Lonely Shelter
6. The Great Escape
7. Riddle from the Stars
8. There is no End

Dark Ages Lineup:

Simone Calciolari -  Guitars and Backing Vocals
Roberto Roverselli - Vocals
Angela Busato - Keyboards, Flute and Backing Vocals
Carlo Busato - Drums
Gaetano Celotti - Bass

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