Screaming In Horror
posted on 9/2007 By:
Long-running local bands are underground metal’s meat and potatoes; sure, they may be a little bland at times, but they’re ultimately what fuels growth within the genre. We’ve got a prime example here in Seal Beach, CA’s Dark Days. This death metal unit’s been slugging it out in the trenches for eight years now and has picked up some serious live experience alongside the likes of Malevolent Creation, Deicide, and Dying Fetus, among others. As far as I know, this self-financed longplayer is their first recorded output, and the band’s tightness and professionalism attests to their long shared experience. Unfortunately, even bringing in Kevin Talley (Dying Fetus, Misery Index, Chimaira) on drums can’t keep Screaming in Horror out of the middle of the death metal road.
Though Southern California isn’t often associated with head-down, kill-obsessed DM, these guys crank out textbook Floridian savagery like they just crawled out of the swamps. Like a less technically inclined Cannibal Corpse or Malevolent Creation, Dark Days speedpick and chug along in truly classic form here. Though occasionally there’s a melodic edge to the riffing (“Lust For the Blood,” “Screaming in Horror,” “Decimate,”) the majority of these songs are straightforward, chromatic shitstorms full of nimble time changes and cymble-grabbin’ stops. Talley is just as precise and reliable as you’d expect, doling out frenetic blasts and double bass beatdowns with his usual confidence. He alone isn’t enough to support the whole disc though, and technical ability isn’t this band’s problem so much as indecision. It’s clear that Dark Days are good enough as a band to pull of some pretty awesome death metal, but Screaming in Horror sort of exists in stylistic limbo. Not melodic enough to rely on catching riffs, not musically contorted enough to live up to their musical ancestry, and not brutal enough to turn heads in the slam crowd, Dark Days are left with a record that will please many a metalhead but truly impress very few. Vocalist Mike Michaelian’s annoying processed growl and a slightly underweight production add very little spark to the pedestrian proceedings.
These guys have potential written all over them, especially if they can find a permanent drummer up to their current standard. They have the basics down pat, but they’re gonna be stuck squarely in the sub-second tier death metal hordes if they can’t bring a little extra to the table.
Register to post comments.