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The Sound

The Dark Mirror evolution


Dark Mirror plays at Wooly’s on Sunday, Feb. 24, with Thee Annunaki, Green Death and Murder Earth.

Dark Mirror plays at Wooly’s on Sunday, Feb. 24, with Thee Annunaki, Green Death and Murder Earth.

Even though it took the band a while to get to this point, Dark Mirror founder and bassist Marco Battaglia always knew where it was headed.

“It was in my mind ever since middle school,” Battaglia said. “I played with a guitar player in high school, and we kept trying to get a like-minded group of people together, but we eventually parted ways (for college). Then I met (Dark Mirror’s) original vocalist while in school (at UNI).”

While we spoke, drummer Clint Blomker was laying down tracks for the band’s upcoming third album. The currently untitled project has a tentative release date of April of this year, and the band is excited for people to get a listen to Dark Mirror’s evolved sound.

“There’s been a lot of evolution, but it’s all been organic,” Battaglia explained. “Like, we changed the vocal style, but that wasn’t a decision, it was just how life played out.”

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That’s led directly to an album that the band hopes will be more diverse, more complete and a better listening experience for both old and new fans. The new album is also a place for the band to stretch its legs a bit and experiment with different influences.

“It’s kind of a genre bender,” explained guitarist Garan Drozd. “It goes from thrashy to a new wave metal, to even kind of a power groove. It’s not one of those albums where you can hear three songs and say you’ve heard the whole album.”

Battaglia agrees. “With our older stuff, the first thing people would think of is a European power metal sound. Now that sound is still in there, but there’s more to it. It’s not the only influence you’ll hear.”

Dark Mirror is hoping to match its more developed sound with an equally satisfying, top-to-bottom album experience.

“It’s an album in the kind of original sense of that word,” Battaglia added. “We put a lot of thought into how it would flow. It’s not a concept album, but we still think people will enjoy listening to it from beginning to end.”

As bands at all levels of success move more and more toward digital sales and distribution, the idea of a well-crafted album experience has been pushed to the periphery, much to Battaglia’s lament.

“People have talked for years about albums kind of going out, but there are still people who love the artwork and the package and listening to a whole album. I think if more bands would take pride in releasing a full album with notes and art, that trend could be reversed,” he said.

In the workup to the album’s release, Dark Mirror is spending its time playing live. This weekend, the band plays at Wooly’s in support of New Jersey-based metal legends, Overkill.

“Overkill and Motorhead are at the top of my admiration list, because they’re both just always touring,” said Battaglia. “Throughout their career there’s been a certain amount of evolution, but Overkill has stayed one of those ‘you know it when you hear it’ bands.

Overkill was forced to cancel due to front man Bobby Ellsworth fighting a case of walking pneumonia, but Dark Mirror’s dance card remains full. The band played a show in Minneapolis last weekend and is still going to rock the Wooly’s stage this Sunday. After that, the guys are excited about finishing the album.

“I think that in my 16-year-old head,” concluded Battaglia. “This is what I originally imagined Dark Mirror sounding like.” CV

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