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Fans of the Dark - Suburbia Award winner

Fans of the Dark
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 23 December 2022, 4:34 AM

It’s not offensive to say that Hard Rock had its greater peak of commercial success during the 70’s and the 80’s (don’t mess things up and think of the genre as Hair Metal or Glam Metal), and Metal and its subgenres as well. This is why those days still inspire a lot of younger acts, and it’s not a sin as long as the bands write new things, and not rely solely on the clichés. One fine example that is possible to play older music with a fresh and young insight is “Suburbia”, the second release of the Swedish quartet FANS OF THE DARK.

The band’s music uses an old formula: a mix of what Hard Rock of the 70’s and Metal of the 80’s produced at their best moments. But the energy, and appeal and insight used are full of a young and savage energy that make the quartet songs bear a new a personal life. It’s impossible to resist to the melodies the band creates, the chorus and everything else, and all the musical instruments are working on their best shapes, with remarkable vocals (that inherit some traits of USA Jazz, R&B, Soul, and Funk traits, giving a new and different approach to the band’s music). The best to say is: it’s excellent in all the moments!

“Suburbia” was produced and mixed by the hands of Lars Fredrik Swahn and co-produced by Freddie Allen. And everything sounds fresh and with energy, balancing the sound clarity with the musical weight in a great way, allowing the songs to be understood at their best, but with the needed heavy appeal.

There are 8 songs on the album, all of them showing the talent of the quartet. And the lyrics seem to be based on old horror films and comics of the 80’s. The melodic and accessible appeal of “Night of the Living Dead” (what a lovely chorus) is based on a strong and heavy rhythmic work of bass guitar and drums; and it’s followed by another fine mix between weight and melodies shown on “The Pirates of Maine” (the melodies of the guitar riffs and arrangements are great), a song that lasts more than 7 minutes that is so catchy that they pass without the fan note this.

Being a bit more accessible, “Fantasia” brings some musical arrangements that are easy to be absorbed by the senses, and what great singing of the vocals can be heard. And the same elements can be heard again on “Sick! Sick Sick!”, but with a heavier appeal. “Fright Night” brings a band to a more heavy and aggressive approach, but without tearing apart the melodic hooks they create. And on “Fans of the Dark” they show a fine mix of influences of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, but always guided by a young and savage insight. On “The Goblin King”, the song’s arrangements show an ‘updated 80’s’ feeling, mixing its dark appeal with remarkable melodies. And “Restless Soul” is another long song (another one that lasts almost 8 minutes), contrasting soft tender moments with heavier crescendos.

FANS OF THE DARK is another excellent name of Swedish Metal/Rock School, so dive into “Suburbia” and become seduced.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Night of the Living Dead
2. The Pirates of Maine
3. Fantasia
4. Sick! Sick Sick!
5. Fright Night
6. Fans of the Dark
7. The Goblin King
8. Restless Soul
Alex Falk - Vocals
Oscar Bromvall - Guitars
Rickard Gramfors - Bass
Freddie Allen - Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Music


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