CD Review: Darling Down - Never Tell

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Short Introduction 

The band in my eyes is a classic symphonic metal band which is termined by the haunting, strong and sometimes even fragile voice of lead vocalist Amanda Legault as well as through the hard, compact guitar riffs while the rhythm section keeps the punch constantly and heavily moving forward.

Committed to lyrically thoughtful and melodically engrossing songwriting with powerful hooks, Darling Down's lyrically relatable songs full of enough edginess, passion and real life to appeal to a wide audience. The deep lyrics are sometimes juxtaposed with eerily strong, pretty vocals and heavy guitars, as on their earlier recording, “Revenge is Sweet Like Cherries.”

In 2014 Darling Down released the new album, “Never Tell,” produced by the nationally acclaimed producer/ engineer/mixer Chuck Alkazian (Soundgarden, Trust Company, Pop Evil) and recorded at Pearl Sound Studios. “Never Tell". This album features guest appearances by Clint Lowery of Sevendust, Vinnie Dombrowski of Sponge, Stephen Richards of Taproot, and Brett Hestla of Dark New Day.

(c) by Darling Down, used with kind permission

The band has performed alongside many notable acts including Theory of a Deadman, Nonpoint, Taproot, Smile Empty Soul, Pop Evil, Red, Ra, Framing Hanley, Saving Abel, Evans Blue, Saliva, Hed PE, Mushoomhead and many more. Make sure to see the linked websites for tourdates and more information.

Official website: www.darlingdown.com
Reverbnation: http://www.reverbnation.com/darlingdown
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/darlingdownband

Summary / Purchase Links / Player

The record comes as a package full of beautifull and heartfelt music. While the music is kept straight forward and comes directly to the point with the pumping rhythm and sharp guitar riffs and effects (very cool effects at some parts that really rip the tone for a while) it's also the contrast with the female vocals that gives this album such a great atmosphere.

Those vocals are set with many variations. Sometimes they are powerfull and strong, sometimes you can feel the doubt in there and some parts feel like fragile, broken pieces. There are quite some parts in there where you party to the music but there are as much in there that will make you think again or even cry a bit.

"Never tell" is a superb record which should find a lot of fans out there, especially if you like music in the style of Evanescence or In This Moment you should definitely give the songs in the player a listen. The fine thing about this record is that it comes with so many various songs on it. So it will feel like a musical journey when you listen to it - something which only very few records offer to the listener.

The album has been released worlwide digitally, so you can purchase it directly through itunes or at the Amazon MP3 Store. If you prefer to download music to your Smartphone you might like the possibility to download the album at the Google Play store.

Update 2015/06/24: If you're in need to save some money you can purchase a "Value Edition" of the album the band just released via Bandcamp. It contains the first seven tracks of the album so it misses out the softer songs of record but you'll only need to pay 5 Dollars to get your hands on this. 

Track-by-track review

Pressure (feat. Stephen Richards)
A direct and very powerfull start to the album. The song goes straight forward and the vocals show the direction - while kept more compact in the verses it's the refrain with releases the Pressure unleashing the full vocal power and letting some of the pressure burn. The guest appeareance of Stephen Richards adds some diversity and surprise towards the songs end. Great opener!

Collide (feat. Clint Lowery)
Pumping, hard riff and rhythm starting this one. This goes over to a straight rocking number and back to the compact riff of the beginning again. A soft refrain giving it a softer note. Very melodic and direct tune.
The song start directly with music and vocals together. Pumping riff in here with a very catchy refrain that perfectly fits to the message of the lyrics and reveals some fragileness that makes the music of Darling Down so special. The guitar effect ripps this nicely up and will make you even more remind this one.

Never Tell
A burning riff kicks this one in before we are lead over to a sharp riff-hacker. The refrain gathers a lot of guitar power along with straight vocals keeping it more straight forward yet with a yelling ending that lasts at especially at the end for a good amount of time and ends with a hard riff-cut.

Empty Nights
It's time to relax a bit. A beautifull half-ballad with much power and technical finesse. Strong refrain showing even more of the deep emotions Amanda Legault is able to transport through her voice. Very cool ending giving some live-feeling towards the record (as if you're directly with them in the studio).

(c) Darling Down, used with kind permission

No Expectations
Some variation in here. A slower midtempo number with some nice bass guitar arrangements. A fine solo section part you wouldn't expect - a surprise on the first listen and also fine for listening again to it. The song burns out in blast of melody and great vocals - so much intensive feelings in here.

Gypsy Soul
Anothere diverse track showing a different side to the band's sound and giving a good idea on other musicial sides this band is also able to perform. Softer and slower tune yet with a very intensive refrain. A good bridge to the upcoming tracks which are all softer.

Sex Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll
Surely not what you would expect from the title. Not a party song, not a track saying it's good. But surely one saying it's time to get sober again. A very fragile and sensible acoustic ballad with great vocals.  

Scars (Acoustic)
What can be made of such a powerfull track when transformed into a acoustic track? This example shows how great this can turn out. The message comes out even stronger. If you like the distorted version already you'll love this one. Hope they'll do it live one or another day.

Empty Nights (Orchestral Mix)
Soft orchestration was carefully added to the outstanding vocal performance giving this a more breath taking atmosphere. This gives so much positive vibes that you don't want to let it go. A great song to end this fine album with. I've given it a repeat immediately and will do again and again. Go and get this album!

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