Darkness Dynamite

The Astonishing Fury Of Mankind

Written by: PP on 17/06/2009 14:07:29

The opening riffs Darkness Dynamite's debut album "The Astonishing Fury Of Mankind" are just so fucking cool that they catch your attention immediately. I wrote that sentence down the first time I popped this record in. About a week and eight listens later, I was just about to write the exact same sentence until I noticed that I had already a wordpad file saved for this review. Now that's how you start a review about an awesome album, but unfortunately, the rest of Darkness Dynamite's "The Astonishing Fury Of Mankind" isn't quite as awesome as its opening riffs. Shame.

What we're dealing with here is a particularly muscular form of macho metal with exceptionally harsh clean vocals on top. I know that's a bit of a vague description because it can make you think of Disturbed, Machine Head, Slipknot or even Cavalera Conspiracy if you push the term wide open. But Darkness Dynamite are also a band that's difficult to place in any particular genre, they are just 'metal' with some cool riffs and a glimpse of catchiness hidden underneath a messy production. Judging by other reviews of this album I'm not alone with my thoughts, considering I've seen comparisons that range from As I Lay Dying, Soilwork, and Machine Head to Hypocrisy and even Dark Tranquillity (what?). I've read that these guys used to be deathcore on their EP, and if that's indeed the case, then the change has been absolutely massive for their Metal Blade debut: breakdowns have been exchanged with chunky, guitar-driven passages and an overall thrashy sound, and screamed vocals have been pushed aside in favour of a macho yell that's average at best. Average is actually the word I'd use in describing the first half of the album, as the songs even after eight listens still fail to make the listener feel any sort of emotion about the band. You can tell that their instrumental prowess is in an OK shape, but it seems that Darkness Dynamite couldn't write a good SONG even if their life depended on it.

Luckily towards the second half of the album, everything improves. Production is crispier, songs are catchier, and there are actually a few more melodies present. Much of this can be credited to the appropriate removal of much of the Machine Head inspired macho atmosphere of the first 4-5 songs where it merely feels like the band are one of those heavy-lifting dudes at a gym showing off their muscle while their brain is the size of a raisin . "Chasing Inside" and "Vice!" replace the element with some death metal blast-beats and modern old school thrash riffing (think of Evile), and wupti, the album's instantly more interesting. I don't know if something has gone wrong in the tracking process, but the first few songs on the record are so devoid of any identity that the band shouldn't expect anyone to reach the tracks following the interlude "A Simple Taste Of". The album may improved post that point, but honestly, most of the record is just an extremely average attempt at being old Machine Head.


Download: Vice!, Chasing Inside
For the fans of: Machine Head, Slipknot
Listen: Myspace

Release date 08.06.2009
Metal Blade

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