Doomriders debut effort Black Thunder launched the Boston-based outfit into action with their dark-themed hybrid of punk, metal, and hardcore. Since its release the band has kept busy with a slew of recordings surfacing. There was a live 7 EP released shortly after their debut, two split recordings - with Coliseum and Disfear respectively - spread out over the past four years, and a live split 12 with Boris. In spite of the band members' other musical obligations (Converge, Disappearer, Cave In, etc.) theyve maintained activity with these releases and sporadic touring, including dates with Cave In, Danzig, and Clutch.
The band returns with their second full-length in the form of Darkness Come Alive. And the music found within these seventeen tracks proves that the band hasnt, nor does it appear as if they ever will, let up on the throttle. Following a standard fair introduction track, Fade from Black, Doomriders launch into action in a manner that is in line with their material to date. Heavy Lies the Crown is a mid-tempo metal cut that brings to mind the works of their debut.
But this isn't take-two for Doomriders. They unleash a more focused effort than their debut as they deliver each song. Bear Witness boasts a killer rhythm section of Jebb Riley (bass) and J.R. Conners (drums) and spectacular riff session. The guitars of Chris Pupecki and Nate Newton drive the song at a fantastic pace. Knife Wound follows and is a more volatile punk-based song, a nice contrast of styles that keeps the album fresh. On the flip side is Come Alive, which boasts a more straight rock and roll vibe to it. The five minutes that comprise the song fall closer to Black Sabbath and Blue Cheer than the bands hardcore roots, in fact it kind of reminds me a bit of Queens of the Stone Age. And thats the two-headed monster that is Doomriders, offering either high-octane hardcore punk or stoner-infused metal.
Night Howler, an instrumental piece, leads into a re-recording of Crooked Path from last years split 7 with Disfear. The song definitely evokes a sound similar to their debut full-length. The prominence of the guitars at the forefront showcases the bands metal influences: Danzig, Sabbath, and Thin Lizzy. These influences are further showcased on Lions, a slow-churning noise metal cut that draws from the groups stoner metal influences and is akin to material by Baroness, Black Cobra, and Kylesa. Blood Avenger also falls into this category, bringing to mind the earlier works of Mastodon. The bands metal flair also finds its way into Bloodsuckers with the incorporation of a well-orchestrated guitar solo.
And while those types of songs demonstrate the growth in songwriting, it is the rambunctious punk numbers that really energize the album. The Equalizer and Mercy are great examples of frenzied blasts of chaos. Rotter, another hardcore cut, concludes the album in similar fashion, lasting just over three minutes and pounding every riff and drumbeat into your skull.
With their second full-length Doomriders shed all labeling of a side-project. Unfortunately the members other obligations take priority; as a result the band will likely never be given the chance to truly showcase what they are capable of accomplishing. Nevertheless, Doomriders have delivered one heck of an album; one that should easily please fans of all walks of life.
8.0 / 10
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