Review by William Dibble, photos provided by Obsidian Darling, credited in captions
Rock is a relatively young genre, but that doesn’t stop it from featuring an extremely diverse range of sounds. These can range from the extremely heavy, like death metal and deathcore, to soft and even acoustic groups. Obsidian Darling’s new EP, In The Dark, falls on the latter end of the spectrum. Releasing on 19th April, 2018, it delivers seven tracks of beautiful, entrancing sound.
In The Dark opens with “Used To Be”, a song that starts off with the soft beat of drums and a clean guitar. The haunting question “You haven’t seen my face in a while, have you?” is the first lyric of the album. “Used To Be” is a song about who we are at our core, and how that changes through time. It explores where we come from and who we become, and how this changes how others view us. Logan Christopher’s vocals are at once hooking, delivering the full emotion of each line with massive effect. “Music Box” is the EP’s second track. It starts off considerably slower with a musical melody reminiscent of the song’s namesake. Obsidian Darling demonstrates a superb understanding of the direction that this new sound tends to take the song. Logan’s vocals continue to bestow emotional meaning onto the song, delivering lines like “I don’t care about anyone else” in a way that will leave you feeling like you and her are having a deep discussion about the nature of love.
In “Diamond Mind”, a slow and atmospheric rock track, Obsidian Darling draws upon metaphors for the body that compare various bodily functions to gems. Obsidian makes an appearance in metaphor again (it also appears in “Used To Be”). “Diamond Mind” takes full advantage of its ambience to help deliver its colorful visual imagery, with a subtly reverberating chorus declaring that “there is nothing left to hide”. “Max” is a bit of a faster rock song, coming closer to what we traditionally think of as rock. “Max” implores someone to not leave the singer here, as they are not so strong without whoever they are speaking to. A bouncy, energetic piece, this song makes a good midpoint to the album. That isn’t to say it is somehow better than the rest of the songs, so much as being distinctly different.
“Pale Rider” starts off with greeting a friend, wondering when the singer would see them again, before launching into riffs and chords reminiscent of some of the 90’s grunge movement. The galloping guitar will have you drumming and tapping along. “Pale Rider” is distinctly heavier than the first four tracks, including “Max”, but doesn’t change the essence of Logan’s vocals or the mood of the album. Instead, it demonstrates that Obsidian Darling is fully capable of writing and performing a variety of songs and styles. The sixth track, “Heavy”, is not actually the heaviest track on the album. It does, however, continue the trend started in the fourth song of faster, more guitar-centric songs. Like the rest of the album, the instruments remain distinctly separate and audible, never muddling up the vocals or each other. The song features the line “intoxicated by the sound”, which is accurate for how you will feel after listening to this EP.
In The Dark closes with “You Poison Me”, a mostly acoustic song that closes the album on a note that sounds very much like it opened. The song feels like it is about toxic and potentially abusive relationships, with her insisting that she is her own person and that her partner, whoever they are, are poisoning her. “If you take what’s yours, you will be taking all of me” is one of the repeated chorus lines. Again, Logan’s voice delivers these lines with a stunning emotional strength that draws you in and helps you feel just what the song wants you to feel.
Obsidian Darling have achieved something amazing with In The Dark. While the songs would not have been out of place in the late 90’s on the radio, they also sound immediate and relevant today. The clarity of the audio along with the uniqueness of their sound is something that many bands take years to achieve. It is definitely an album you do not want to miss.