Our Verdict: 4/5
Release date: 8th of September
Find it at: Lockjaw Records
Find out more: Darkoband.co.uk
“Speed, skill, strength, songcraft, fierce shredding and mind-altering amounts of melody… ‘Sea Of Trees’ is an EP for those who like their music fast, aggressive and run through with massive melodic hooks.”
You’re an intelligent person with a creative mind and a healthy imagination, right?
Good. That’s great to hear.
Now use that imagination to picture an alluring alternative universe: one where Lemmy Kilmister grew up listening to a intoxicating infusion of The Gaslight Anthem, Rise Against, The Mars Volta and Iron Maiden – and then started a band.
You there yet? Yeah?
Now put on Darko’s new EP, Sea Of Trees, and tell me I’m wrong.
Holy bloody hardcore Batman, but this EP has everything. Speed, skill, strength, songcraft, fierce shredding and mind-altering amounts of melody. It’s a dynamic, shape-shifting beast, packing more wallop in to its 15 minute punch than most manage in their entire career.
But don’t take my word for it, check out the studio preview for final EP track “Seaward” below:
Huh? Huh? You with me yet? You damn well should be!
The other 12 minutes of auditory assault are as good and better, running the gamut of the sonic spectrum. They touch on melodic strains of punk, new wave Brit heavy metal, the angular and technical elements of math rock; almost like stripped back and punk-fueled contemporary – whisper it! – prog.
Witness track “Atlas to Atlantis”: the first minute is a thrilling punk thrash that segues into a heart-stopping guitar break the likes of which Smith, Gers and Murray would have been proud to have penned. Via some dynamic cross-fade capers we’re then treated to a tuneful tonic that verges on the pop end of punk, before returning to that thrilling squall with which the song began. It’s a very fine 3 minutes indeed.
“Timepieces and Lock Shaped Hearts” clambers up and over a solid wall of sweet-sounding riffage, before leaping with abandon and taking flight on the wings of a diamond sharp guitar solo. Frontman Dan Smith spits lyrics over it all, his belly clearly full of fire: “I once tore the world a new asshole / A reckless taunted soul / These are the songs I Screamed at the world / Does it all count for nothing?” Fortunately no, ‘cos to these ears this music counts for a lot.
It occurs that, ultimately, all of this may make it sound like Sea Of Trees is something of a “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” affair. Far from it. It’s a coherent, visceral and cognitive clip round the ear; an EP for those who like their music fast, aggressive and run through with massive melodic hooks.
Watch this space. I’ve a feeling Darko are going to be big. Very, very big.
~ | ~
The ‘Sea Of Trees’ EP tracklist is:
1. Prologue (A Voice Unheard)
2. Canthus Viewpoints
3. Atlas to Atlantis
4. Hanging Off a Memory
5. Timepieces and Lock Shaped Hearts
Dan Smith – Vocals
Rob Piper – Guitar
Chris Brown – Guitar
Karl Sursham – Bass
Andy Borg – Drums
‘Sea Of Trees’ is out on the 8th of September via Lockjaw Records.
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