Doomriders
Darkness Come Alive

My only real knowledge or experience with Boston’s Doomriders is that they feature Converge bassist Nate Newton and Cave In Drummer JR Conners, two bands I like but aren’t awfully obsessed with, so when I gathered that this outfit was a more rock based band to boot, my hopes weren’t extremely high.

That all changed when I pressed ‘play’.

Man, I haven’t enjoyed a non death/black metal, straight forward rock/metal album like this since SosoHuman’s Twenty Six back in 2007. I when I mean rock, I don’t mean commercial, poppy radio rock, this is still somewhat hardcore based and gritty, angry metal, but Doomriders have a sense of riff based prose that gives them a wider appeal, even with Newton’s gravelly Steve Von Till meets Glenn Danzig vocals. In truth, to me, Doomriders sound like what I imagined Mastodon to sound like after they signed with Warner Bros (just listen to opener “Heavy Lies the Crown” or “Mercy”) – twisting, moody alternative rock with a metal undercurrent – just without the weirdness and ego.

While alternative or rock is a broad brush stroke to describe the band, the 17 tracks that comprise Darkness Come Alive run the whole spectrum of genres and never settle into any sort of safe format or structure. From the aforementioned Mastodon-ish lurch of “Heavy Lies the Crown” through the rumbling acidity of “Bear Witness”, burly hardcore sneer of “Knife Wound”, the radio friendly, Foo Fighters-ish “Come Alive” (with just an epic climax), gruff catchiness of “Crooked Path” and personal favorite the rousing “Lions”, Darkness Comes Alive bristles and bursts with a balance of surly Stoner rock haze and groove, brooding metal, hardcore angst and a smart, mainstream affinity. Throw in Kurt Ballou’s expectedly gritty but clear production and you have a truly complete album.

A few rather needless interludes litter the album (“Fade From Black”, “Night Howler”, “Night Beckons”, and one untitled number) but they are so brief they serve as intros to the following songs rather than full fledged, but the album brims with so many great riffs and moments they pass by relatively unnoticed. Also, Ive heard/read Entombed/Death ‘n’ roll comparisons all over the internet, and while that may apply to the debut Black Thunder (which I have not heard), I can safely say I dont hear it here at all.

Darkness Come Alive is one of the more pleasant surprises of 2009 and as I search out 2005s Black Thunder debut, I can only hope I am as entertained.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
October 12th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: gabaghoul

    Doomriders is badass, the 05 debut was great too.


  2. Commented by: fightingmike

    Nate Newton is the vocalist and his vocals are badass!


  3. Commented by: Wayne

    This is a really fun album, as is the 2005 debut. Literally the only downside of the Dethklok/Mastodon/Converge/High on Fire tour is that it took Newton, and therefore, Doomriders, off this leg of the Kylesa tour.


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