Released By : Rockstar Records
Genre : Thrash Metal, Heavy Metal
Link : http://www.darkerhalf.com/
1. Lost In Space
2. End Of The Line
4. Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier
5. As Darkness Fades
6. Catch The Sun
7. Wake Me Up
8. Solid Rock (Sacred Ground)
It always does me proud when I can introduce people to good unknown Aussie bands, and while DARKER HALF probably won’t set the world on fire, their second album DESENSITIZED is definitely an impressive slab of metal that should at least cause a fair bit of interest in the melodic metal/traditional metal community. The exciting thing about DARKER HALF is their ability to successfully mould multiple metal genres together without sounding trite. Traditional heavy metal seems to be the base of their sound, but there is also a bit of power metal/melodic metal vibe here, not to mention a nod to the classic thrash bands of the eighties.
The vocals are mainly of the high-pitched variety and on numerous occasions I was reminded of the one and only Bruce Dickinson, obviously not in the same league but still sharing enough traits to warrant interest from the IRON MAIDEN fan base. The guitar work is quite impressive for the most part and sweeping solos that combine shred elements with slower melodic sections are common throughout the nine songs. The rhythm section seems just as able bodied as the rest of the group but I would have personally liked the bass to be a little more prominent in the mix, ditto on the snare drum too.
As far as the songs go, it does get a samey in certain places, but that’s more due to the genres of choice rather that anything done by the band, but that being said though there’s still plenty to sink your teeth into, with a couple of real rippers in TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER and the lengthy AS DARKNESS FADES, these are the two songs on offer that I think the band should be pushing people to try out first as they are the highest points on the disc. I do however have to make a bit of a complaint with one certain song… SOLID ROCK (SACRED GROUND) which is a cover of one of the most iconic Australian songs in history originally recorded by GOANNA. Unfortunately DARKER HALF’S version isn’t very good at all and actually sounds pretty corny really.
Apart from that minor misstep though I came out the other end pretty impressed by my introduction to DARKER HALF and would certainly be interested to hear anything they may release in the future. With a little more time and finesse this band could possibly become a pretty powerful force in Aussie metal, for now though I would expect to see their name connected to a lot of the upcoming music festivals of our summer….Check ‘em out if you get the chance.
Written By ZeeZee
Rating : 7/10