To be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of Doomrider’s last CD, Black Thunder. Something about it not fulfilling all the hype and not really satisfying my craving for some post-Converge and Cave In tunes. I grew up listening to Converge and Cave In, so I expected some of the brutal breaks along the lines of Petitioning the Empty Sky and Until Your Heart Stops. After listening to Black Thunder I wrote off Doomriders as another Hardcore band flailing their arms before they drown. That being said, when I saw that Thomas Hooper was working on their new album, a bit of hope was instilled in my blood. Hooper’s work is phenomenal, so surely the album must be matching right?
Well, I have to say, after a few listens, I really like it. There are very, let me emphasize very, few bands in the hardcore genre that I could give two shits about. The ‘scene’ has been dead since the mid 90′s as far as I’m concerned. All the bands I grew up listening to have moved on, or are still putting out the same music under new monikers and touring well into their 30′s.
The reason why I like this album is that I realized people mature and you have to expect their sound to mature as well. Doomriders isn’t Cave In, or Converge. They’re a band who’s matured and their experience in the 90′s with their previous hardcore bands gave them their unique sound today. Darkness Comes Alive exhibits such refinement in the hardcore genre. 16 tracks of not only acceptable, but addictive music begin with “Fade from Black” and “Heavy Lies the Crown”.
“Bear Witness” and “Knife Wound” remind me of the old school hardcore I loved but with a new school flare. “Come Alive” is maybe one of the more catchy tracks on the album and could easily support a music video. The rest of the album offers a series of tracks to make any metal or rock fan bob their head with content. Overall Darkness Comes Alive makes me want to give Black Thunder another whirl and maybe even catch the band on tour. I take back everything bad I ever said about Doomriders to friends.