Walk in Darkness – Leaves Rolling in Time

“Leaves Rolling in Time” marks the fourth studio album from the Italian symphonic / gothic metal band Walk in Darkness. Released physically today, after being available on digital platforms since Nov 2022, the concept and setting for the album is that of humanity’s demise. A post-apocalyptic scenario where nearly everything about our world has been lost, save for the distant sounds of voices that hold the key to our awakening – a role that is played by the band itself. It is an interesting backdrop, and one that has more relevance given recent times.

The album commences in a majestic fashion with “Ships to Atlantis”, which features a heavily symphonic, choral intro that soon paves the way for heavy guitar distortion and powerful lead vocals. As an opening track, the song perfectly sets the stage and overall tone of the album. It also features a guest female opera singer, though we know little about her identity.

On that note, you could be forgiven for not knowing too many details about the band. Indeed, Walk in Darkness all but pride themselves on their mysteriousness, which is perhaps fitting for their musical style. With most of the band members maintaining their anonymity and donning black hoods, it certainly adds to the dark vibe and aesthetic. It also naturally places the focus on frontwoman Nicoletta Rosellini, who for her part is simply incredible, and absolutely worthy of the spotlight.

Up next is title track “Leaves Rolling in Time”, a song which quickly ventures into doom metal, with the slow-tempo heaviness of Shaman’s riffs blending seamlessly with the harsh growling of guest male vocalist Emiliano Pasquinelli. While the music is tonally bleak, Rosellini’s voice has a comforting warmth, which not only adds a layered contrast to proceedings, but helps to reflect the wisdom and hope that is required in her narrative portrayal. Her vocals adapt depending on the lyrics and story as well, with certain passages demanding the use of her rich lower pitch and others her hard-hitting belting range. The piano-laden “Bent by Storms and Dreams” is moody but at the same time uplifting, with Rosellini encouraging us “…this will not be the last day // Let’s look around // Somewhere, the sun will rise again”.

The song sets up “Get Away”, which is perhaps the catchiest track on the whole album, and a personal favourite of mine. You’ll know what I mean as soon as you hear Rosellini singing the first line: “Just another ride between laughs, between tears, on the abyss”. And Shaman’s guitar work is equally sublime. I’ll be surprised if this one does not become a music video or single in future. One song that has already had this treatment is next track “Walk Close to Me”, and it’s easy to see why. Shaman and Organus (on keyboards) are the stars early on in this composition, both laying down luscious melodies on what is a resplendent track overall.

“No Oxygen in the West” could well be the highlight, however, and perhaps recognising this Walk in Darkness have also treated us to an alternate version on the album (with Shaman on vocals). The bass and drums deserve a particular mention as they really drive this song along, especially in its closing moments. “The Last Glow of the Day” notches up the heaviness a bit, but still has plenty of light and touching moments. While closing track “Elizabeth” cements their reputation as one of the best gothic metal outfits around right now.

Verdict: “Leaves Rolling in Time” is a beautifully crafted concept album that depicts mankind on the brink of collapse and facing a choice – a commentary on our current situation but one that never feels heavy-handed. Each track on the album is fabulous, but together they are elevated. A must for any gothic metal fan.

Rating: 8.5/10

*The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Shield Maidens of Metal and all of its contributors.

from SHIELD MAIDENS OF METAL – https://www.shieldmaidensofmetal.net/reviews/walk-in-darkness-leaves-rolling-in-time/