Darker Half – If You Only Knew
Album Review By Rainer Kerber
With rock or metal from Australia you immediately associate AC / DC, Airbourne or Rose Tattoo. But Down Under has a lot more to offer. Darker Half come from Sidney. And musically they are quite different from the three bands mentioned. They play melodic power metal. And that since 2003. Three albums have been released since then. The last one (“Never Surrender”) was almost six years ago. Can you speak of a comeback there? I guess so. An album was produced for the first time in the band’s own studio. And a well-known label was found on which the new work will be published. The press release also sounds interesting:
“If You Only Knew” is heavier, faster, slower, more accessible, more metal, less metal, catchier and more progressive compared to previous releases.
Everyone can imagine their part. Or you just listen in.
manowarischen Power Metal Kracher.
A jet races over our heads. Then the Australians start to power. Pure European-style Power Metal. Already with the opener “Glass Colored Rose”, references like Judas Priest, Helloween or Gamma Ray come to mind. Twin guitars, great high-speed solos and clear vocals. This also continues with “Falling”. But despite all the high speed, the melodies dominate, especially through catchy sing-along choruses. The hymnic “Into The Shadows” invites you to shake your rocker mane if you have one. Alternatively, you can move your head rhythmically and let your feet rock. With “If You Only Knew” there is also a power ballad on the album. The longest song “Sedentary Pain” starts balladesque. Later it turns into a big metal anthem. Even the growls sound epic here. Darker Half invited two guests for this. Melodically I am reminded of Hammerfall. In the middle section then the drums is driving. That is probably the highlight of the 50 minutes of Power Metal. With “The Bittersweet Caress” it goes back into speed metal realms. Fast riffs and guitar solos like you know them from Dragonforce. Maybe not quite as sprawling but similarly filigree. After the neckbreaker “Thousand Mile Stare” and the second ballad “Poseidon” the album ends with “This Ain’t Over”, another pounding manowaric Power Metal hit.
With “If You Only Knew” the musicians from Down Under made their debut at Massacre. And what the quartet delivers is consistently excellent. Varied power metal, beautiful ballads and trips to the speed metal area ensure a lot of entertainment. The songs definitely go off live. A European tour with Geoff Tate was planned for April. Whether this can take place is currently still in the stars.
Darker Half – Into The Shadows: https://youtu.be/lkznF1H96gU
Steve “Vo” Simpson – Vocals, Guitar
Dominic “Dom” Simpson – Drums, Backing Vocals
Simon Hamilton – Bass, Backing Vocals
Daniel Packovski – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Additional Lead Guitars:
Stu Marshall (Night Legion, ex-Dungeon, Blasted To Static) bei “Glass Coloured Rose”
Brendan Farrugia (Envenomed) bei “Falling”
Chris Themelco (Orpheus Omega) bei “Sedentary Pain”
Marcos Rodriguez (Rage) bei “The Bittersweet Caress”
Death Metal Vocals:
Dave Lupton (Flaming Wreckage) & Giacomo “Halfhead” Mezzatesta bei “Sedentary Pain”
Label: Massacre Records
Out: March 27th, 2020
Playing time: 51:23
- Glass Coloured Rose
- Into The Shadows
- If You Only Knew
- Sedentary Pain
- The Bittersweet Caress
- Thousand Mile Stare
- This Ain’t Over
Rating : 9/10
MHF Magazine/Rainer Kerber