Published Sep 27, 2009Despite taking almost five years to follow up debut Black Thunder, death'n'roll quartet Doomriders nail that sucker to the wall with sophomore full-length Darkness Come Alive. While some of their rigidity, raucousness and thunder directly result from the pedigree of talent drawn on ―members of Converge, Cave In and Cast Iron Hike ― these 17 tracks simply have more tangible groove and passion than their precursors. Upbeat and driving, while darker and more pointed than its ancestor, Darkness Come Alive rides the same mud-encrusted path laid down by those very bands Doomriders released splits with in the past: the direct abrasiveness/muddy distortion of Coliseum and Disfear's straightforward Motörhead adoration, slightly tweaked with the subtle progressive elements of Baroness and Mastodon to create truly compelling, sinewy tracks. As a result, Darkness Come Alive boasts a deep aura, in that tracks such as "Heavy Lies The Crown," "The Equalizer" and "Rotter" are intriguing yet imposing. Their curious subject matter exists well with the weighty riffs, hammering double-kick and guitarist/vocalist Nate Newton's throat-tearing, mid-range vocal rage. Darkness Come Alive easily proves that unlike some other musicians, in the case of Doomriders, taking years to write can result in bold, ass-kicking music.
How do you feel Doomriders' attack has matured here?
Newton: [This] is a more serious album, for lack of a better word. I think the songwriting has matured greatly, as well as the lyrical content. Black Thunder was more of a party record. This one, while still fun, has a darker vibe overall. We've developed a lot more chemistry as a band and I believe it shows through in the songwriting. I pushed myself vocally on this record much more than I have on any other record I've done.
There is a very dark atmosphere. What were you hoping to achieve?
I can't put my finger on it, to be honest; it's just an outward expression of where I was when we were writing. I really wanted our first album to be a fun, raging party record and mentally I just wasn't in that place anymore. Lyrically, I wanted to focus on things going on in my life that I felt everyone could relate to or put their own meaning to. All of my favourite songs growing up were like that. It was obvious that they were about something specific but I could apply them to things in my life. It helped me get through some heavy shit (Deathwish Inc.)