Unearth - Darkness in the Light (Metal Blade)

A decade since their debut album, Unearth's latest outing will put hairs on your chest
Release Date: 
4 Jul 2011 - 11:30pm

Let's get straight down to business; Darkness in the Light is a cracking album. Massive breaks that will snap spines across the globe, shredding guitar harmonies, pounding drum work and of course, Trevor Phipps' Metalcore 101 vocals. Unearth have always been one of those metalcore bands that are okay to like if you're a 'proper' metaller, as they are pretty damn heavy. There's none of that silly clean singing nonsense here. Yes, there are piano breaks and David Draiman-tastic spoken word interludes (Equinox) but still, this is proper metal. Kind of.

Darkness in the Light has been incredibly well received by music scribes worldwide. The fifth album in the Massachusetts' mob's career is far more commercially accesible than the likes of the thoroughly raw debut outing The Stings of Conscience but has nonetheless remained true to the bands roots (with a bit more vocal tweaking and studio polishing). Despite opening with a horrendous bit of keyboard silliness more akin to Enter Shikari than a band with this level of authenticity, Darkness... is an 11-track bruiser. There are slightly contrived moments of piano/wordage as previously mentioned but add songs like Eyes of Black into the mix and all of a sudden things become a lot more serious.

However, despite the occasional blastbeats throughout and marginally Pantera-style riff of Coming of the Dark, there are a number of parallels that can be drawn with more *gulp* radio-friendly metal outfits such as Trivium and Bullet For My Valentine. Before you drop your mead-filled horns and burn a copy of Kerrang in anger, bear with me; despite this highly commercial feel, Darkness... is still potently heavy throughout. This is the transition album; it's the album that takes kids who listen to You Me At Six and Kids in Glass Houses into the dark world of proper metal. It's the album for all of those who've never got any heavier than Trivium's (frankly awesome) Ascendancy and who thought Matt Tuck was the best metal vocalist of our time. Darkness in the Light is heavy metal puberty.

Unearth do what they do so incredibly well it's impossible not to like them. If you're a 40-year-old, hairy-backed Exodus lover or a Bring Me The Horizon, fringe-sporting fanboy, you will listen to this album and you will get stuck in. Simple as that.

Darkness in the Light is out now on Metal Blade