I like the obscure stuff, especially when I can track down someone who was part of it and ask them some questions for the blog. So when I found this late-1980s private press metal album from Seattle band Dark Ages I figured I had some good blog fodder. But I was stymied by the use of pseudonyms, lack of memory, and likely one death. At some point too-common names led me to either dead ends or so many possible hits that I all I’m left with is four songs on black wax. I hope no one asks me to turn in my copy of The Hardy Boys’ Detective Handbook.
Medieval Sorcery isn’t typical metal. The female-fronted Dark Ages do something a bit rawer and a bit less refined than often found in uber-intricate and/or uber-fast late 80s metal, bringing a touch of riot-grrrl-like sensibility paired with some sort of Dark-Ages-esque heavy folk influences. “Auric Slumbers / Ophelia” opens grunge-like before bursting into a thrash pace overlaid with vocals of fluctuating speed, the whole thing a disorienting array of sonic elements and shredding riffs. It may be the song that best defines the four-track record.
It’s too bad this is all we got from Dark ages, and that I couldn’t track down vocalist Erin Jean. If I ever do find her though, you’ll hear about it right here on Life in the Vinyl Lane.