The first time I listened to Darkness Come Alive, I enjoyed it but I was in no big rush to hear it again. A couple weeks went by. At the end a veritable death metal marathon (Suffocation, Hail of Bullets, Despised Icon and Pestilence, with some Skeletonwitch thrown in for good measure) I was almost about to listen to Dying Fetus when I spotted Doomriders beside it on my iPod. I figured a break from brutality wouldn't hurt. Even this time I wasn't "into it". Granted, being played through and FM Transmitter on 15 year old car speakers is not going to do any band any favours. I switched to Blood Tsunami for a little scream therapy. When next I donned my iPod I put it back to Doomriders. Something had changed. Almost instantly I was locked in. It fitting because the track was "Come Alive". I felt like I had. Or at least been awakened to the awesomeness.
Groove, hooks, melody, and emotion all in the context of heavy. I could feel the galloping groove that makes you feel like your flying across a vast landscape. I was hooked by the Torche-esque power-pop elements. Some of the intricate guitar work reminded me of Baroness. The heavy comes into play with the tone and the pummeling drums. The vocals could be my favourite part. Amidst the southern crust/sludge/stoner musical backdrop, a hardcore bellow delivers the message. They're vocals that come from deep within. That are full-out. They can't be sung at any less than full volume. Just the way I like it. Even when they are a little cleaner, they're still powerful and loud. Like someone forgot to tell him that he has a mic. He's singing over the other instruments. Ah, glorious.
I had my Top 50 of 2009 almost figured out. Darkness Come Alive will probably bump somebody out. (Despised Icon's Day of Mourning might too) It's just a matter of who. I also haven't heard the new Slayer yet, but that one's a given.
Hey whatever happened to White Zombie's J. Yuenger?