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Album Reviews : Darker Half – Duality

By on June 14, 2009

darkerhalfDarker Half will soon be supporting Queensrÿche on their upcoming Australian tour. It’s no wonder that the band have been given such a prestigious honor.

The band hail from Sydney and infuse elements of melodic power metal, progressive metal and thrash, into a nice hybrid with a dominant technical aspect.

I first saw these guys in Melbourne when they supported The Eternal. I didn’t know much about Darker Half at the time, and to be honest I wasn’t expecting much at all.

To my surprise though, these guys really impressed me from the word go. Aside from being awkwardly cramped on stage at Melbourne’s Arthouse, they pulled off an amazing performance. More so with their rendition of Judas Priest‘s, “Free Wheel Burning”.

Witnessing such a live spectacle, I wasn’t expecting any less from their latest debut album, ‘Duality‘. The album has a nice infusion of hybrid elements. Clashing a mainstream sound, which isn’t too cliché, with a nice overture of power and thrash metal, with a lot of progressive elements.

The first track ‘Take the Plunge’, would probably be considered the bands most “mainstream” piece. Offering some nice clean vocals, sharp guitars and solid drum work which inevitably lay the foundations of the technical aspect later throughout the album.

Tracks like ‘Duality’ and ‘Confusion’ add a nice melodic touch to the album. Incorporating hypnotizing chorus’ and insanely nice guitar work from guitarist, Dom Simpson.

As I ventured further though the album I really got the sense of great diverse album. Not only from a instrumental stand point, but also from a vocal aspect too.

Steven Simpson can easily sway from high pitch wailing, to a nice ballsy grunt. This somewhat ballsy grunt is only utilized in the track “Holocaust”. Yet, Steven does use a somewhat similar style to Opeth singer, Mikael Åkerfeldt in the latter duration of the tracks ‘Confusion’ and ‘Stranded’.

The track ‘Holocaust’ is very reminiscent of early Sodom and Kreator material, and fits well to the albums scheme. It mixes up the album nicely without taking to much away from the main technical emphasis of the album.

I also noticed similar aspects to Stratovarius, Megadeth, Helloween and even Iced Earth. This plethora of influences really makes the album a benchmark in terms of being one of the most diverse power/thrash metal albums in Australia, nay; the world at the moment.

Musically speaking this is one of the most well organized and best sounding Australian metal bands I’ve heard in a very long time. The bands love for power and thrash metal has given the scene a dramatic jolt to the heart, resulting in a powerful rebirth which I’m sure will send many flocking back to the local scene. 9/10

For fans of: Judas Priest, Kreator, Stormwarrior, Opeth, Iced Earth.

Band: Darker Half
Album: Duality
Year: 2009
Genre: Prog/Power/Thrash
Label: Independent
Origin: Sydney, Australia

1. Take the Plunge
2. Enough is Enough <- Reviewer’s Choice
3. Duality
4. Confusion <- Reviewer’s Choice
5. Stranded
6. Helpless
7. Darker Half <- Reviewer’s Choice
8. Invasion
9. Holocaust <- Reviewer’s Choice
10. Heads are Gonna Roll
11. Anthem for Doomed Youth


Anwar is the editor-in-chief of Metal When Anwar isn't busy promoting tours, interviewing bands and reviewing awesome music, he loves to collect metal vinyl and play video games. Follow Metal Obsession on Twitter and Facebook