Melancholic, Old School
"The first part of a diptych, "Darkfighter" sets the bar very high, a dark album that allows Rival Sons to send many vintage Hard Rock bands back to school."
CHILDERIC THOR (19.07.2023)  
(0) opinions (2) comment(s)
For almost fifteen years and six unanimously acclaimed discs, Rival Sons have been carving out vitamin-rich hard rock with luscious bluesy roots, a sort of missing link between Led Zeppelin, Free and Queens Of The Stone Age. Having shared the stage with the greats, from Deep Purple to Black Sabbath to Guns N' Roses, and garnered numerous awards, it's clear that the Long Beach quartet now wanted to go one step further, and not be satisfied with just another record.

What better way to do this than with a double album, the two parts of which are marketed a few months apart? But is this kind of diptych a good idea? We still remember the disappointment generated by "Use Your Illusions" by Guns N' Roses, who would have been better advised to keep the best tracks of this pantagruelic ration to offer only one album of god's fire rather than an uneven and whole. 

"Darkfigther" is the first part of this diptych, the second part of which will be called "Ligthbringer" and is due for release at the end of the year. First flaw avoided, the album is short (less than forty minutes). There's no dead time to mar a program whose commendable simplicity doesn't exempt it from finely honed songwriting. Rival Sons have selected eight tracks, all of which hit the nail on the head. Above all, they are formidable concentrates of energy and emotion, powerful anthems that sound as (hard) rock should always sound. Not just with guts, but with soul too.

Like the Led Zeppelin-like 'Mirrors', which kicks off the listening experience with a force soaked in feeling. The roaring Jay Buchanan delivers a performance that sends shivers down the spine. This is followed by the enormous 'Nobody Wants To Die', with its heavy drums, fuzzy guitars and fiery organ. But since Rival Sons are perhaps never more exhilarating than when they apply the handbrake, it's then 'Bird In The Hand', a ramshackle mid-tempo reminiscent of Queens Of The Stone Age's "Songs For The Deaf" era, which confirms that the Californians are definitely sending Greta Van Fleet and co. back to school.

Although scaffolded as the darker side of the diptych, "Darkfighter" isn't quite so dark, even if the end of the album descends into a more troubled ("Guillotine") and even desperate climate, as illustrated by the terminal "Darkside", a long breath during which Buchanan demonstrates all the dramatic power of which he is capable. It's during this last section that the G-spot is reached with 'Horse Breath', which combines an iron-clad rhythmic pattern, vicious six-string and heart-rending vocal lines. These six minutes alone justify listening to this album, which already stands on its own without needing its double.
- Official website

01. Mirrors
02. Nobody Wants to Die
03. Bird in the Hand
04. Bright Light
05. Rapture
06. Guillotine
07. Horses Breath
08. Darkside

Dave Beste: Basse
Jay Buchanan: Chant
Michael Miley: Batterie
Scott Holiday: Guitares
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(2) COMMENT(S)    
Je suis complètement de l'avis de mes anciens collègues Childéric et Corto ! Quelle claque cet album ! Et le tout sans entrer dans la surenchère. C'est juste très très bien pensé et conçu. Même si les albums précédents étaient déjà valeureux, ce dernier les dépasse de la tête et des épaules. Scott Holiday disait avoir besoin de progresser voire de se réinventer à chaque album, et bien sans trahir l'ADN du groupe, il parvient encore et toujours à nous surprendre ! J'ai aussi une petite préférence pour l'hydre qu'est "Guillotine", ce titre est tout bonnement captivant et ne nous lâche qu'à la dernière note, un peu sonné !
Très bon album. Enthousiasmant, riche, varié. A écouter sans modération. La chronique est bien vue.
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