Review Summary: aka. Darker Days Are Already Here
Tragedy - Darker Days Ahead
If the past couple years have taught me anything it’s that crust punk couldn’t give any less of a *** about legacy; I mean, just look at Amebix. But moving on, Portland melodic crust act Tragedy is no stranger of the limelight, with some of the pinnacle of their style of music in the same vein as From Ashes Rise and previous band His Hero Is Gone. Seriously, how many bands are practically a copy/paste of everything Vengeance
sounded like? Jokes aside, a six year period of general inactivity have done Tragedy little in terms of reinvigorating their sound, as fourth full length Darker Days Ahead
proves. While the band have always had a knack for finding the middle ground between relentless, pissed off punk, and fairly melodic song structuring, Darker Days Ahead
is an unfortunate meeting ground for the worst aspects of both these attributes, combined with exhausted song writing and an overall tired sounding band.
Before diving in, it’s worthy to note that Darker Days Ahead
isn’t exactly a complete one-eighty on everything Tragedy have sounded like. The overall soul of the band is still intact; the dual vocal attack, passages and riffs chalk full of melody and aggression still run rampant throughout the album. What makes the album at most mediocre is just how lackluster it all sounds now. Darker Days Ahead
is like drawing a straw-poll out of a hat, hoping for the big stick, but ultimately finding out they’ve all been cut. Even at only nine tracks long it couldn’t end any sooner. Starting off the album with “No Cemeteries Here” and “Close At Hand”, Tragedy give what seems like a half-assed attempt Cult Of Luna worship or an odd tribute to Dismember, all the backed by an extremely tiring vocal performance that doesn’t compliment the music in any way. Songs like “The Feeding Hour” and the eponymously titled track do their best renditions of Swedish death metal but ultimately fail to create anything noteworthy. It’s true that the Tragedy that most fans have become accustomed to doesn’t seem to be present on Darker Days Ahead
: their legacy may already be secured but with and with an album like this it will only help to reinforce the impact that Tragedy had on us in the years past.