Review Summary: The only problem with this EP is that it's not nearly long enough.
The individual pieces of what comprise As Dark As You
(the EP) aren’t necessarily highly original. It's an atmospheric cloud of blackened post-metal that alternately rains blast beats and gentle clean passages onto a garden of winding, and somewhat doomy, progressive metal compositions that feed a bloom of alternative rock melodicism. However, what makes this EP special is how good the execution is and how well the band incorporate these disparate elements into a seamless and coherent whole that at no point feels like it’s either derivative or repetitive.
Admittedly, the EP is only three songs and not quite twenty minutes long, but it’s bookended by a pair of twisting seven-minute epics that illustrate what makes the EP brilliant. Album closer, “Mayday”, finds guitarist/bassist Chris Petchonka and drummer/producer/engineer Matt Graff dancing around Kenny Truhn’s gritty and wonderfully emotive voice that evokes Jeff Buckley after a week-long cigarettes-and-whisky bender in its haunted melancholy. Opener “Primal Urges of Desperate Men” additionally features harsh black metal screams which, while thematically appropriate, also feel like the one unnecessary aspect of the EP. Truhn's singing voice already blends so well with the music—aided both by some fine melodies and excellent production—that the harsh vocals come off as extraneous and a tad underdeveloped.
Meanwhile, the album’s centerpiece, “What’s in Your Heart” jumps feet-first into contemporary heavy pop/rock with earworms galore, courtesy of both Truhn and Petchonka. It doesn’t abdicate its black and post-metal elements, but refines them into something that’s concise and tremendously catchy. It’s radio-rock, but not the kind of radio-rock you would or should be embarrassed to listen to, because even when As Dark As You are making (relative) concessions to accessibility, their strong sense of identity and undeniable talent shine through like a beacon. As Dark As You
presents a young band that has already found the source of the voice in their collective heads and coaxed it to sing.
"What's in Your Heart" : https://youtu.be/tyVezbJv9tA
"Mayday" : https://youtu.be/aZmtayF8LOs