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Biography

There are two music groups by the same name, but with a different spelling.

1.) There is German Heavy Metal band Darkride, and
2.) Alternative/Club Music group DarkRide, who are spelling their name with a capitalized R in the middle.

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The following biography represents Heavy Metal band Darkride:

Darkride combine elements of Thrash and Progressive Metal with melodic Metalcore and Power Metal. Their contemporary style mix is reminiscent of Killswitch Engage, Trivium, Nevermore and Masterplan, paired with fresh ideas from the Metal underground. "It's sound for Metal fans like ourselves," their guitarist Dirk points out. "Whether on stage, in the rehearsal room, or online, we just love making music together that is as diverse as all the bands we like to listen to."

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The following biography represents Alternative/Club Music group DarkRide:

DarkRide meld together a number of different musical styles without being overtly intentional: funk, house, post-punk, heavy alternative rock.

The 2008 CD release get things started with the club doors swinging wide open… ‘Enough’ has a groove that tips the hat to Grace Jones. The party takes place under the stars and you’re never going to leave: ‘You’ve been here before/you’ll be here again/looking for a new thing/looking for a star’. But quite soon into the proceedings, our protagonist grows weary; ‘Can’t Let Go’ is driven by a House-inspired groove, bringing things up a few notches… but already the fun has deteriorated into sleepless obsession.

The remainder of the songs are a slow spiraling return back to our current day 21st Century malaise; the post 9/11 Western phenomena of political/ religious/corporate cultism (‘Hell Has Come’, ‘Shortwave Jesus’, ‘Gunning Wild’), urban gun violence (‘Living In Fear’), intolerance (‘The Club’). 15 Minutes and a Box’ features spoken word excerpts from a dialogue between the workplace terminator and the ‘firee’ over a virtual free-form jam. ‘Cancelled’ (what Rein almost became in 2007) plods along in a somber but funky manner, while ‘The Club’ has the outcast eventually liberated by the realization they’re not the least bit interested in being a member.

Historically, the long-standing musical alliance between Rein Vares and Derek Christie began in the late 1980’s amidst a vibrant Queen Street music scene in Toronto, Canada. After drumming for a number of known local outfits including The Kings and Men of Song, Rein joined the band Derek fronted at that time, Conditioned Response, securing the initial audition with an ad reading “Drummer into solid grooves; influences include Grace Jones, Japan, John Bonham” It sparked the beginning of a songwriting and production partnership that would eventually emerge in the mid-90’s as full-scale project, DarkRide, releasing their first full recording in 1998. A second effort became available in March 2008, while a third is under way and scheduled for completion Spring 2009.

At the soul of DarkRide is a diverse and divergent blend of musical tastes and influences. The two collaborators claim an eclectic myriad of influences that includes Bowie, Donny Hathaway, Led Zeppelin and Pil. Strains of post-punk funk the likes of Shriekback, Gang of Four and Talking Heads, as well bands like Curve and The Doors, are also evident.

Their eponymous first release in 1998 was cobbled together from mostly 4- and 8- track analog recordings, resulting in a varied and inventive collection of 13 tunes. It featured Rein on guitar and bass (a return to his original instruments as a teen) as well as drums, with Derek providing vocals/lyrics, found-sounds and additional guitar. Independent music magazine, Rig, described the music as “a dark sensual sound…supercharged with funk, industrial and hard rock sounds which sharpen its edges a little…it sneaks up on you when you least expect it. The combination of styles - Rein's ethereal yet poignant approach to guitar and Derek's acute lyrics crooned with almost melancholic swagger - are at the heart of DarkRide’s sound: big/dark/heavy/ funky/angry/funny/sad”. (Rig Magazine, 1996)

Opening song, ‘Miles Away’, sets the tone with swelling, swirling guitars, evoking the image of someone standing alone on a shoreline at dusk as the inevitable, gargantuan storm approaches. The listener then travels through a vast array of musical territory, from the guitar-heavy, raging groove rock of ‘Bounce’, the surreal stomp of ‘Spank’ to the industrial dub-reggae that runs through ‘Now I Know’. Lyrically expansive and enigmatic, a good stretch of ground is also covered with surreal effect: ‘God’s candidate is running/like a lab mouse on a wheel/he got sucked into the floor boards/as he was trying to sign the deal’ (‘Dissonant’). Live, a four-piece DarkRide rocked up a tense, frothy storm in Toronto clubs in the late 90’s.

While continuing with other projects (Derek – a solo CD of original songs, ‘Undecided’, local band Mayday; Rein – instrumental pieces, painting, photograhy), DarkRide completed work on their second set, released in March 2008. Rein continued to hold down the bottom end with drums, bass, and programming as well provide an array of distinct styles for the main guitar tracks. Derek contributed much more guitar and introduced keyboards/ synths/samples in addition to fulfilling his usual lead vocalist/lyricist role. Self-entitled once again, the current CD showcases a more integrated collaborative approach to the production. Clearly evolved since the first CD, the sounds is funkier and junkier, lush and more spacious. The lyrics wield a more seasoned take on obsession, escapism, addiction and deception of various (stars and) stripes. The result: a unique soundstew that runs the gamut from haunting atmospherics to funky bombast.

Available March 2008: DR2
Available 2009: DR3

Samples and songblurbs at www.darkridemusic.com.

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