Saturday 28 March 2020

Album Review: STITCHED UP HEART - Darkness

Stitched Up Heart - Darkness

01. Lost
02. This Skin
03. Problems
04. Warrior
05. Straitjacket
06. Dirty Secrets
07. Darkness
08. Bones
09. Dead Roses
10. Crooked Halo
11. My Demon

It feels like a million years since Stitched Up Heart's awesome debut Never Alone came out. I bought it as soon as it was released, and had it playing in the car for quite some time.

Since then, they've been touring with heavyweights like Halestorm, In This Moment, Godsmack, New Years Day, Sebastian Bach and even Steel Panther! They've clearly reached a lot of people in the last few years and are now on a much higher level than they were when I first listened to them. I'm certain that this new album, Darkness, will be the one to cement their position as major players in the Metal scene.

Stitched Up Heart have been trickling these songs out over the last few months via YouTube and social media. I get the drip-feeding approach. It keeps people interested over a longer period of time, instead of the old formula of blowing your load with a full album all at once. The downside is that we're all bombarded with new music all the time, and in some cases, a full album has more impact than the odd track. Who knows? Anyway, I'm quite old school and have deliberately avoided the new songs online so I could hear them all at once in the context of the album as a whole.

Considering how much I enjoyed their debut, the fact that I prefer Darkness shows what a great album they've made. It's really heavy in places, but the heaviness comes second to the song-writing, which is where this band's strength really lies. At times, it may be a little too 'Pop' for some of their more 'Metal' fans, but the quality of Darkness as a piece of work is undeniable.

Opener Lost sets the tone with its Industrial-meets-Nu Metal riffs, couples with some soaring vocals from Mixi. Godsmack's Sully Erna's guest vocals juxtapose with the lead nicely, making it a really strong single.

The hits just keep coming. There are no fillers and no songs over four minutes. It's just a barrage of kick-ass singles. This Skin, Warrior, Straitjacket, and My Demon are my personal favourites. There are also some slower numbers that break things up such as Bones and Crooked Halo, but they are no less infectious than the heavy-duty rockers.

Darkness is an excellent album, and in all honesty, is better than most of the current releases by the bigger bands they've been supporting over the last couple of years. As I said at the start, this is a game-changer, and if there's any justice in the world, you'll see Stitched Up Heart get significantly bigger. They have the work ethic and any success they enjoy will be well earned.


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