New Stuff



Dark New Day - Hail Mary

The long-awaited second Dark New Day record is finally out! Not only that, but the band has decided to reward fans — the few of us that remain, I suppose — for their long wait by releasing a second full album of B-sides along with it.

Both albums were released digitally via Amazon in late August with little or no to-do. We didn’t get any press releases or correspondence of any kind from anyone related to the band; one day it just appeared on Amazon, and that was that. Supposedly Clint Lowery tweeted about it; talk about a PR push! I’m gunning for a band interview to find out more about the situation that led to these albums being released — Warner Brothers stopped caring and gave the band back their masters? band bought them back? someone else bought the rights? none of the above? — but until then let’s all just be happy this music is FINALLY seeing the light of day.

I absolutely loved Dark New Day’s one and only album, 2005’s Twelve Year Silence, so I’ve been anticipating a second album for quite some time. I’ve been listening to both Hail Mary, the proper second album, and the B-sides release non-stop since I downloaded them. And if you’re like me, Hail Mary and B-sides are a bit of a mixed bag. There’s good, and there’s not-so-good:

Songs like “Hail Mary,” “Fiend,” “Fist From the Sky,” and “Saddest Song” will be immediately familiar to any fans who visited DnD’s MySpace page over the past few years. Those songs find the sound from Twelve Year Silence intact; big, downtuned Sevendust riffs with Will Hunt’s crushing backbeat and Brent Brett Hestla’s distinct croon and soaring choruses. Other songs seem a bit out of left field; “Simple” sounds like DnD’s best impression of Muse while “Outside” and “Good Mourning Panic” sound like a different band entirely, DnD gone pop punk. “Dear Addy,” an upbeat acoustic number that on first glance seems like it’ll be a sappy love song is actually a story of the writer’s introduction and subsequent farewell to cocaine, and it’s a surprising dark horse candidate for one of the album’s strongest tracks. Will Hunt’s “crow” scream (via Morgan Rose) is all but absent from both albums, and Clint Lowery’s trademark low-3rd harmonies are dialed down a bit as well.

It’s almost like a tale of two albums, split in equal measure between these two releases; they could have easily culled together one album’s worth of songs from these two releases to make one heavy, ball-crushing record that was the perfect follow-up release. Instead, both are kind of all over the map. What led to these changes? Internal artistic changes within the band or outside pressure from their label, producer, etc? The effects of various band members coming and going throughout the recording process? I intend to find out as soon as I can get a band member on the line.

Despite both records’ various shortcomings, they’re both highly worthwhile for anyone who liked Twelve Year Silence. Download them at Amazon, have a few listens, then come back here and share your thoughts.


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