When From Darkness first burst onto the Guernsey music scene in 2018 I made no secret of the fact that their attempt at uncompromising heavy metal did little for me, filled, as it was at the time, with what felt like too much of a streak of posing arrogance and ‘trying too hard’ to be to appear as put upon and angsty – something they were not alone in within the metal world both near and far.
In more recent times though they seem to have converted their obvious energy, anger and musical skills into something far more engaging so, when they announced a debut album, I was excited to hear it, following a stand out album launch show.
From the beginning of opener Scream it blasts out of the speakers (or headphones) with all the sonic and emotional subtlety of a brick to the face – but sometimes that’s just what you need – and a sound imbued with a confidence and power that grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let up next thirty-five minutes.
While firmly rooted in a modern metal sound From Darkness wear their influences on their sleeves with Machine Head, Slipknot and even a hint of High Of Fire being present in the music while vocally we get suggestions of those along with Deftones, Disturbed and even Faith No More which is both surprising and impressive.
This all indicates the talent at play in the band with a rhythm section (Luke on drums and Kisbee on bass) that thunders, some terrific guitar work (from Guppy and Alan) and vocals (Tang) that throw all the torment you could want squarely in your face with a confident challenge of ‘I’m dealing with this, now you should to’.
Highlights come thick and fast but the (hopefully ironically titled) Lovely is a visceral blast of metal that really shows a side of Luke Corbyn’s drumming we’ve not heard on record yet from his other bands Burning At Both Ends and WaterColour Matchbox – and this of course is where he started.
Hit Me meanwhile really shows off the menacing purpose of Tang’s vocal delivery and lead single Something Inside might be their most accessible moment but it still doesn’t compromise, packed with an angst that feels honest and true and, dare I say it, opens a door on a side of Guernsey life not often seen or acknowledged by the powers that be.
I also can’t not mention closer Porngore, that has become somewhat infamous in the bands live shows, and, while rather juvenile and potentially problematic, does hit something of a spot of twisted humour too… for good or ill…
From Darkness’ self-titled debut then, while not exactly breaking the heavy metal mould, is powerful smack in the face of a record that marks the long awaited coming of age for a band flying the metal flag high in the Channel Islands.