Darkwater - Human review

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Band: Darkwater
Album: Human
Release date: March 2019

01. A New Beginning
02. In Front Of You
03. Alive (Part I)
04. Alive (Part II)
05. Reflection Of A Mind
06. Insomnia
07. The Journey
08. Burdens
09. Turning Pages
10. Light Of Dawn

I remember writing a review two years ago for the Heavenwood record, The Tarot Of The Bohemians: Part 1. In that review I stated that they were a band that have never disappointed me with any of their releases. Well, I can say the exact same thing about Darkwater. We had to wait over 8 years for a new record. The wait was worth it in my opinion.

Human feels like a nice blend of the two previous records made by Darkwater. The variation that Calling The Earth To Witness had to offer and the more straightforward, riff-inspired Where Stories End.

The production is simply excellent. The drums sound powerful/impactful and the guitars switch effortlessly between softer melodic sounds to raw and impactful riffs. Keyboards and piano are mixed in beautifully. They add extra power to the hard-hitting sections and deliver smooth touches to the softer parts. As for the bass, I'm happy to tell you that it gets the attention it deserves. It has a deep and thick sound to it and is mixed in well. Good song examples of its strong presence are "In Front Of You" and "Light Of Dawn".

The vocals are great as we've come to expect from Henrik Båth. Just like with the two previous records, he gives a strong performance on this one as well. From soft touching parts to soaring highs and everything in between. The performance of the other band members matches his performance. This record has some amazing instrumental parts and, unlike in many other cases, every single instrument has multiple shining moments. They go all out, and it all seems so effortless.

Is this my favourite record from Darkwater? Yeah, I think so. Like I said, I enjoyed their previous records immensely and this feels like the best of both albums.

And on the topic of favourites. I mentioned it on the album page as well but "Light Of Dawn" is my new favourite song from Darkwater. Honestly, for me it can easily compete with the best work of Dream Theater and for a big Dream Theater fan this is as high a praise as you can get.

Nitpicks? Sure, some of the tracks could have used a bit of trimming (thinking of "Burdens" and "Reflection Of A Mind"). Not too much though. And like I mentioned, that's me nitpicking on this album which has become one of my favourites so far this year.

To conclude. I think this album is great. Top notch and energetic playing combined with excellent vocals and very good production make this an extremely enjoyable record. Coincidentally this record gets the same score from me as The Tarot Of The Bohemians: Part 1. All I can say is that after all these years Darkwater brought out a record that actually managed to meet my high expectations for it. And, just like Heavenwood, they are still a band that haven't disappointed me whatsoever.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 10

Written by tominator | 02.08.2019


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

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