Brothers of Conquest

All the Colors of Darkness

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No one will accuse All the Colors of Darkness of being the most innovative or groundbreaking heavy metal release of 2002. Quite mindful of '70s and '80s metal, Brothers of Conquest favor a forceful yet melodic approach that could be described as a combination of Danzig, Motörhead, and Black Sabbath (with hints of punk). But in terms of craftsmanship, the band is impressive. While tracks like "Monster Creator" and "Kill for Rock n' Roll" don't pretend to reinvent the metal wheel, they are solid, memorable, and well crafted. As forceful and intense as Brothers of Conquest can be, All the Colors of Darkness isn't the sort of metal album that tries to win the listener over with brute force alone. This band, for all their sledgehammer aggression, has a strong sense of melody -- there is more to Brothers of Conquest than decibels, amps, and power chords. Of course, people who truly understand metal and know a lot about its history will tell that you that many of the headbangers who emerged in the '70s and '80s -- an era that Brothers of Conquest obviously identifies with -- put a lot of thought into their melodies and lyrics. Danzig could certainly be quite musical, and the same goes for Ronnie James Dio, Candlemass, Iron Maiden, and so many other metalheads who were popular during metal's pre-'90s era. Those headbangers knew the value of craftsmanship, and the same goes for Brothers of Conquest. Clocking in at around 33 minutes, All the Colors of Darkness is undeniably skimpy by CD standards. But at least the band doesn't inundate listeners with a lot of second-rate filler. Again, All the Colors of Darkness wins no awards for innovation, but when it comes to quality, you can't go wrong with this enjoyable, if derivative, CD.

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