By Allyson Kingsley
Perhaps it is time for me to venture along the melodic power metal trail as we are being quarantined currently. I have found a significant discovery with Darker Half from Sydney Australia. They have been around for quite some time as their discography includes Duality (2009), Desensitized (2011), and Never Surrender (2014). The band members are Steve ‘Vo’ Simpson (vocals), Dominic Simpson (drums), Simon Hamilton (bass), and Daniel Packovski (guitar). They have shared the stage with Queensryche, Edguy, Sonata Arctica, Sabaton, Children of Bodom, Nightwish, Accept, and many others. They have toured throughout Australia, New Zealand, and the USA. If You Only Knew is a scathing slab of traditional and power metal, and their sounds are huge, powerful, and crystal clear.
Immediately “Glass Colured Rose” hits you with a unique power metal style with vocals sounding so much like early Helloween. “Falling” seeps in with blazing riffs, speedy drumming, and harmonized vocals akin to early Hammerfall, Manowar, or late 80s Riot. Darker Half impress with kickass tunes such as the more melancholy “Shadows ” or “If You Only Knew” to the perfect balance of passion and strength of “Bittersweet Caress.” A riff on top of riff, slick chorus after chorus, and a constant supply of metal awesomeness are what you hear with all of their works.
If You Only Knew is an album of outstanding impressive metal with its pinnacle being the fantastic vocals of Vo Simpson. They sound a bit of a throwback to traditional 80s metal, but their music is relevant and performed to an exceptional level with no restrictions on the sound they want to achieve. Impeccable.