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Review: Darker Half - If You Only Knew
Darker Half
If You Only Knew

Label: Massacre Records
Year released: 2020
Duration: 51:23
Tracks: 9
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 3.5/5

Review online: July 20, 2020
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
If You Only Knew

Rated 3.5/5 (70%) (2 Votes)

Whenever I look up a band on Metal-Archives that I think I've never heard of before, only to realize the album I'm reviewing is their fourth, I have to go back and check my records. I can't tell you how many times I've started a review "this is my first time hearing..." only to realize I've reviewed some past album. I guess it is bound to happen when you've been listening and reviewing metal as long as I have. Well, I'm pretty confident that If You Only Knew is my first time hearing Australia's Darker Half, even though it is their fourth album. But who knows? Maybe I did a shitty job investigating my past work.

Anyway, Darker Half play crunchy, modern power metal that's easy on the ears while retaining enough bite to avoid being labeled "flowery". Theirs is a darker (see what I did there?) lyrical bent with personal struggles ("Sedentary Pain", "Thousand Mile Stare") featuring prominently. The vocalist has an excellent range and a strong voice that is not unlike Stryper's Michael Sweet. The music is solid but not as gripping as some other bands navigating these waters and while I can't point out an obvious misstep, it overall feels like If You Only Knew is a "safe" album. Darker Half go for some big riffs and catchy choruses, they just don't go as big or as catchy as you want them to. You can buy this album relatively worry-free if you like bands such as Widow, Brainstorm, Primal Fear, etc., it just probably won't be replacing them at the top of your rotation any time soon.

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