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Dark Days Ahead - The Long Road South

Dark Days Ahead
The Long Road South
by Rebecca Miller at 13 August 2012, 5:25 PM

Groove Metal is a genre that can divide Metalheads – some honestly enjoy listening to it, and I think that others consider it as just an entire genre of PANTERA knock-offs. But DARK DAYS AHEAD stand out from much of the rest with this debut, and bring a breath of fresh air to this music.

To be fair, “The Long Road South” doesn’t do anything particularly spectacular or groundbreaking, but it does enough that you don’t sit there thinking you’ve got a particularly strong case of déjà vu. I may have mentioned Groove Metal, but there are other elements to it as well. You’ve got your melodic Death vocals, some more ‘regular’ Metal moments, and even some Stoner Rock bit – although they not all that prevalent. For the most part though, it’s very heavy and hardcore. One thing that bugged me, however, was how the songs didn’t seem to have much structure – they were kind of just there, in some sort of order. Don’t get me wrong, the songs themselves are good, but it might have been better if they just seemed a little less random, for want of a better word. It certainly wasn’t a boring album, though, I was never sat there thinking ‘ugh, when is this going to end?’. I mean, I know it’s difficult to make Metal boring, especially the more Melodic stuff, but it seems to me that they’ve trimmed out all the unnecessary bits, and kept it down to a trim 36 minutes.

In terms of actual musicianship, it’s very good. The vocals from Kaikkonen are very brutal, but Melodic enough to not make this into a 36 minute long growl. The guitar/bass work from Petosalmi, Huttunen, and Salonen is brilliant. With hooks and riffs peppered around the heavy, chugging, rhythm work (which may just be a contradiction in terms), they carry the album throughout. And not to forget Sivonen’s drums, frantic and heavy, and sometimes a little foreboding, but really good overall. Indeed, the entire band come together really well to form “The Long Road South”, and have impressed me, especially considering that this is their debut album.

So you may look at the Groove Metal tag, and be put off, but don’t despair, because I think it’s something just that bit different from the other bands out there in this genre. If you want a solid Metal album, then you should definitely give this a listen.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Hail The Lone Star!
2. Enemy Of The Nation
3. Bastard Son Of Disaster
4. No Single Word
5. Manic Moshing Monday
6. Bring The Next One In
7. Deadly Empathy
8. Chaos Caravan
9. Until You Come Full Circle
Lineup:
Tony Kaikkonen – Vocals
Jarkko Petosalmi – Guitar
Jari Huttunen – Guitar
Jukka Salonen – Bass
Ville Sivonen – Drums
Record Label: Inverse Records
     


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