Published Feb 03, 2015Murder By Death's Big Dark Love is a walloping triumph of great roots songwriting. It's a record that takes on that biggest and most trodden upon of subjects, love, examines it from a seemingly endless array of angles and manages to never sound or feel like old ground. There's a constant tug of war between the highs and lows that love brings — every time the dark threatens to take over on tracks like the opening "I Shot an Arrow" or the gripping title-track, blasts of joyous sound fight back and re-establish ground for love. The haunting cries of "Send Me Home" stand next to the achingly sweet and earnest "Natural Pearl," equal in scope, two sides of a coin.
The production is clean and full of empty spaces that serve as markers of both desolation and liberation. By the final notes of the gripping closer "Hunted," one is left with the feeling that there's more to be said or maybe, just maybe, the answers were all there and you just missed them. Big Dark Love has big, dark secrets hidden away in its seams that call out for repeated listens until you can draw them into the light. (Bloodshot)