Tragedy - Darker Days Ahead (Cover Artwork)


Tragedy: Darker Days AheadDarker Days Ahead (2012)
Tragedy Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: JohnGentileJohnGentile
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For a band that cloaks itself in mystery, Tragedy's fourth LP, Darker Days Ahead, is surprisingly straight forward. Still, while the LP doesn't mess too much with Tragedy's unique, metallic, crust punk, it does exhibit why the band has managed to stand heads above most of their ilk. Darker Days A.
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For a band that cloaks itself in mystery, Tragedy's fourth LP, Darker Days Ahead, is surprisingly straight forward. Still, while the LP doesn't mess too much with Tragedy's unique, metallic, crust punk, it does exhibit why the band has managed to stand heads above most of their ilk.

Darker Days Ahead is Tragedy's first LP in six years, and since their previous release, they've maintained an extremely low profile, without a website, Facebook, MySpace or Angelfire site, and have done just a few, barely announced tours. It would seem the band likes its work to speak for itself.

Such a stratagem is understandable. While a great deal of crust punk can be rote with cliché refrains and have bludgeoningly direct lyrics, Darker Days Ahead features the band painting portraits that can be applied to any manner of tangible or intangible concepts. Of course, being crust punk, the band tells tales of apocalyptic wastelands, economies falling and basically general misery. But, wisely, instead of pinpointing the lyrics to a particular time and place, the words are vague enough to be place din nearly any time period, from the middle ages through 2055 (the year the robots won), but nuanced enough to paint vivid imagery, even if such apocalyptic imagery may be interpreted wildly differently by listeners. [Everybody knows the robot holocaust is in 2033 - editor]

Musically, the band descends even deeper into the murk since Nerve Damage. Guitars are downtuned. Vocalist Todd Burdette growls more like an angry beast than a human, leaving his lyrics indecipherable, but at the same time, intelligible in emotion. Noticeably, while earlier Tragedy works would sometimes rev up the energy, hurling forward at a hardcore attack, for the most part Darker Days Ahead is so low, so heavy, and so sludgy, that at times it feels almost more like early death metal than crust punk. Of course, the band likely doesn't worry about if the are "punk" or not, but it seems that they have shrouded themselves in such a massive sound, they are heavy metal without even intending it.

While the band has amplified their heaviest aspect, there is little here that is surprising. While the songs are mostly low and heavy, they could likely have been inserted into other Tragedy releases without raising an eyebrow. Instead of pushing forward, the band has focused on their heaviest parts and collected them all together. It's not necessarily new, but it works well, and gives the feeling of an impending atmosphere getting heavier and heavier and heavier and darker and darker and darker.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
frensal (February 6, 2013)

This record is incredible.

thus_spoke_sean (July 5, 2012)

I love this record, and I listen to it a lot. But yes, it's a bit boring. That's okay with me. Not everything I listen to has to be jaw dropping or - get the fuck and do something - inspiring. The song writing is good, the preformances are good. I agree there is some subtle killing joke (or even a slight nod to Canada's much looked over Complications - feral ward) and acoustic stuff on this record works great with slower, dragging material. Generally, I just like the songs and the sounds of this record. It's not too long, so even if it's a little boring, it never wears you out.

Misanthropee (July 5, 2012)

Good, but yeah, kind of boring -- not because it's slow, the guitar parts are just crazy repetitive and not in the good doom-y way they were probably shooting for.

theproblemwithfire (July 3, 2012)

this is boring. they'll probably never top their first full length.

hobbzoid (July 3, 2012)

I just can't get into it like the other releases. I want fast jams!

Half_Idiot (July 3, 2012)

Definitely in my top five of the year so far. I've had it for about a month and a half and I'm still spinning it at least once or twice a week, which in my current ADD state of music consumption is a real accomplishment.

I don't quite agree that any of these songs could fit anywhere else in their history. The title track has a subtle Killing Joke influence that I've never detected in their records before, "Power Fades" has a more biker-freindly/Motorhead pace that would possibly endear them to Zeke fans, the intro to "Close at Hand" makes you think you're getting a fast rager but them pulls back into a riffy, damn near post-punk song and then "The Grim Infinite." I could write a whole review based on that song alone. Todd's vocals reach a new guttural low, the pace sludges along and then BOOM it kicks into overdrive and you want to punch the nearest living thing right in the face before it pulls back again. A fucking master class in punk songwriting.

It's not hard to pick out highlights (obviously) but moving them out of context of the full album would totally diminish the overall darkness/unique atmosphere of the album. Just thinking about the songs is making me want to interrupt "Copper Blue" and throw it on again.

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