Monday, June 16, 2014

Daker Half - Never Surrender

Australia's Darker Half has been labeled as thrash throughout their career. Having not heard their previous albums, I would assume the thrash tag only fits the previous releases because this is not a thrash metal album. I didn't say it wasn't good, I said it's not thrash. This is actually a much more melodic power metal in the German style. I have a strong urge to compare this to late 90s Angel Dust. Having formed over a decade ago, they released their debut in 2009. Their new release, Never Surrender, is a strong album that has all the elements to be great power metal album. It seems they try too hard in places but they completely nail it in most.

 As I said before, if they were a thrash band, they have made a drastic change because this is melodic, epic and riff laden traditional metal. We have anthems like the album opener "Nemesis" with a chorus that is just catchy as fuck with really nice melodies.The guitar work is pretty good. The solos are tasteful and melodic. A little more wankery would have been cool but they are still very good. This band writes really cool melodies and this is one of those songs that is loaded with those melodies. "Stranger" is a mid paced epic number that has cool melodies with a catchy chorus and a nice solo. There's a couple of things that do not quite fit like some of the dual riffing and and the higher note guitar chugging that goes on in the beginning before the verse. The organ part that flows in there has a nice feel to it, though. That's one of my frustrations with this band. When they are on they are on but they seem to try a little too hard in some areas.

"As Darkness Fades" has some nice riffing and some nice melodies in the verse. The chorus is catchy and there's that organ in there again. This is another epic number that actually has an early Tad Morose feel. They pretty much nailed this one. "End of the Line" is another one where the band seems to stick to a streamlined formula and not trying to over do it. The twin leads are nice and kind of reminds me of early Nocturnal Rites. The solo on this one is killer and shows the skill is there. The chorus is catchy as fuck and the background vocals are nicely done. The vocalist actually can sound like Tony Kakko in his mid range, like on the title track, but he sounds like he really is straining to hit some of the higher notes and his "head voice" needs some work.

This band is a really good band that might be trying a little to hard to be great. I think they can achieve that level but they need to look at what works for them and what doesn't. This not a bad album, by any stretch. This is a good album that had potential to be great but fell a little short. I can't see this band being a thrash band so if this is a new direction for them, I think it's the right move. Pull back on trying to be epic and just go for a balls out heavy metal and this band could do great things.

Thanks to FullBlast!PR for the digital promo.


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