Independent hard rock band Dark Station is gearing up to hit the road in support of its debut album Down in the Dark. It was recently announced that the band’s new album is scheduled for release Oct. 25. The 11-song, 40 minute record’s very dark lyrical themes and its heavy arrangements make it an effort that will help to make it shine in what is already a very crowded field of new hard rock records this year. Each item will be discussed here. The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the album. All things considered, they make Down in the Dark a record that, given the proper support, could easily bring Dark Station and its debut album into the spotlight.
Dark Station’s debut album Down in the Dark is a positive offering from the Orange County, CA-based hard rock band. That is due in part to the record’s collective musical arrangements. One listen to the record reveals that the band’s members are not satisfied sticking to just one style of hard rock in this album. There are industrial elements set alongside electronic elements, which themselves are set against a more metalcore sound. All of that joins with a hard rock element that shows up at times, too. The end result of all of those sounds is a record that is certain to appeal to a wide range of hard rock fans if only for its musical side. The industrial elements show up right from the album’s outset in the form of ‘Ryse.’ The opening countdown leans to an industrial metal style breakdown that lends itself to comparisons to works from the likes of Fear Factory, Crossbreed and Static-X. That same sound is used in the song’s chorus sections and rounds out the song in its finale while the rest of the song boasts more of a pure melodic hard rock sound. The balance of those two distinctly different styles works well here, with the end result being just one of many high points presented in this album.
‘Villain,’ which is easily another of the album’s high points (if not its highest point) is an example of the album’s more electronic style sound. It takes little time comparing this song’s arrangement to works from the likes of Orgy and even Korn. As a matter of fact, the coupling of front man Nathan Spades’ vocals with the song’s instrumental elements especially adds to that comparison. Even more interesting is that once again, the band incorporates a certain industrial metal element through its guitars at certain points in the song. Once again, each element is balanced well against the others, with the end result being another key addition to the album in regards to the album’s musical content.
‘No Life’ presents the album’s more radio-ready mainstream sound from start to finish. The combination of Spades’ vocals, the drums, bass and guitars create here, a sound that is easily likened to music from the likes of Three Days Grace. Considering that mainstream rock radio programmers are more friendly to songs of this nature, it perhaps has the best chance of any of the album’s songs to receive attention from said individuals. That is because it is not the hard-driving work that so many of the album’s other songs are. Keeping it in consideration along with the album’s other heavier works, it is just one more way in which the record’s arrangements prove to be a strong point for the album. All things considered on the album’s musical side, the whole of the record is certain to appeal to a wide range of listeners. That musical content is just one way in which Down in The Dark proves to be such an appealing record. Its lyrical content proves just as important to its whole as its musical arrangements.
The lyrical content presented throughout the course of Down in The Dark is in itself dark, which may in fact explain the album’s title. From matters, such as dealing with that part of ourselves that is the worst of each of us, to taking on our own negative emotional thoughts of our lives to handling toxic relationships and more, the album’s lyrical content is such that it will certainly appeal to many listeners. The matter of dealing with that unwanted, darker part of ourselves rises in the album’s latest single ‘Villains.’ Spades noted in a recent interview about the song, that it was inspired by Marvel Studios’ recent cinematic adaptation of the Marvel comic book “Venom.” Spades noted in that interview, the song focuses on how the movie’s lead character Eddie Brock had to come to terms with the symbiote Venom. He added in the interview, the song focused on how the pair had to compromise and come to an agreement on a new kind of life. That is something to which we all have had to do at one point or another. He sings, in the song’s lead verse,” Kept down dark/Where I can be bold…We hide from the world/What we really are/Inside, where we’re born/Like the monsters now/I know/There’s only one way out/I know/You won’t stop me now/I know/To break the rules…It’s all become so clear/You never wanted to take the blame/You always love to play the game/You’ll never die in the glorious flame/You’ll always be the villain in me.” He adds in the song’s second verse, “With the fire and fear/Burning blood on the sheets/The truth eats us alive/Proving grounds in the streets/Starve the agents of death…I like the misery/I hate the company it brings/I like the fear on your face/It’s all become so clear.” Those who know about Venom know that at one point, he did play the part of an anti-hero of sorts, but by and large, he/it has always been more villain than anti-hero. To that point, the thought of having to come to terms with that lesser part of one’s self and dealing with that part of one’s personality is something to which plenty of listeners can relate. To that end, this song’s lyrical content proves in its own way, the importance of the album’s lyrical content to its whole. It is just one of the songs that serves to show that importance. ‘No Life,’ with its focus on overcoming our own feelings of depression, is another key example of the importance of the album’s lyrical content.
Spades sings in the song’s lead verse, “Been in my head so long/That I can’t seem to find the end/Another day I won’t see the light/Something else I couldn’t get/Anything to live/Now I’m finding out this time…something else was inside me/You’ve got to fly it alone now/It’s out of control/I know, I know/That you’re in a place/Can’t lose hope.” He continues in the song’s second verse, “Hey, hi/Yeah it’s me/A little note from your history/Stop acting like you could see/When you felt out of place/Replaying things you can’t erase/Shaping up way too late/Roll the dice…chasing things you can’t replace.” As Spades noted in an interview about the song, it focuses on seeing past our own views of ourselves and realizing the importance of the bigger picture.
“Sometimes when we’re so caught up with everything we have going on, we forget about the people around us that might need us as much as we need them,” he said of the song’s lyrical theme. “The amount of suicides and overdoses that happen annually is a frighteningly high number. Sometimes, when you’re really caught in your own head, you need to hear sad things to help you overcome it. ‘No Life’ represents two sides of the same coin; what people go through as addicts and people that have to struggle and abuse themselves in ways other than drugs, trying to numb reality in any way we can.” Again, this is something to which so many people can relate. With drug addiction, depression and general mental health concerns being so commonplace today, it makes this lyrical content easy to relate to for listeners, and in turn hopefully inspiring, as Spades noted. Again, here is an example of why this record’s lyrical content is so important to its whole. It is just one more example of what makes the album’s lyrical content so important. The focus on toxic relationships in ‘Obvious’ is another song that can be referenced in explaining the importance of the album’s lyrical content.
As Spades noted in an interview about that song, “It’s me having to force myself to admit something I had known all along. As if it was inevitable, that something as pure and as beautiful as a relationship could be extremely toxic when blinded by love. When it becomes clear though, no matter how strong that feeling is, it hits hard and you can finally start to see it all for what it really is.” The matter of dealing with a bad, broken relationship is another matter that is anything but new to the music industry. This is just another way in which it is tackled. He sings in the song’s chorus, “I wanna tell you/Something that I’ve been holding back/You are the worst..It’s so obvious.” Everyone has been at this point in a relationship at one point or another. Again, this makes such statements as noted here that much more relatable to listeners and in turn proves once more, the importance of the album’s lyrical content. When such an example is considered along with the other content noted here (and the rest of the album’s content) the whole of said content makes undeniable, the importance of the album’s lyrical themes. When it is coupled with the album’s musical content, the two elements join to make the album in whole a presentation that will widely appeal to listeners. They are not the album’s only key elements. Its sequencing puts the final touch to its whole.
The sequencing of Down in the Dark is important to note because it ensures the noted collective content will keep listeners engaged and entertained. The record starts off heavily with the driving, proudly defiant ‘Ryse’ before moving into the more thought provoking commentary and sound of ‘Heroes’ and into the equally driving yet contemplative ‘New Age’ as the album progresses. The record’s musical and lyrical energies remain constant as it makes its way into the deeply contemplative ‘Villain’ and the more reserved ‘No Life.’ Things pick right back up after ‘No Life’ (again both musically and lyrically) as listeners take in ‘Obvious.’ The energy remains just as constant as the album makes its way through ‘Hollow,’ ‘Misery,’ ‘Ghost,’ ‘Locked On’ and ‘Visions.’ The subtle changes in the album’s musical arrangements from metalcore to semi-emo to more aggro rock from one song to the next ensures listeners will not get the same thing from one track to the next. The change-up in the songs’ lyrical themes keep things just as interesting for the album as that of its arrangements. Keeping this in mind, it becomes clear that much thought and time was put into making sure listeners are fully engaged and entertained by this record, not just in terms of its content, but in the balance of said content. Keeping all of this in mind, the whole of Down in the Dark proves itself a record that could help bring this independent band into its own spotlight.
Dark Station’s forthcoming debut album Down in the Dark is a good start for the independent hard rock band. That is due in part to a variety of musical styles that in themselves offer appeal to a wide range of listeners. The album’s lyrical themes are just as accessible to listeners as its musical arrangements, giving listeners topics to which lots of listeners can relate. Those arrangements and lyrical themes together through a sequence that will ensure even more, listeners’ maintained engagement and entertainment. Each item is key in its own way to the whole of the album. All things considered, they make Down in the Dark a bright start for this band; a record that can bring the band its own spotlight, given the right attention. Down in the Dark is scheduled for release Oct. 25. More information on the album is available along with the band’s upcoming tour at:
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