If you know the background of Dark New Day, you can pretty much know what to expect from their debut without hearing a single note. This group, which has been together for a little over half a year, is comprised of former members of Sevendust, Stereomud, Skrape, DoubleDrive and that dude who played bass for Creed (you know, the one who wasn’t allowed in their videos or on the album cover). Their sound is a hefty combination of five guys who have been in the music scene long enough to develop their own musical identity, and obviously, a very strong and fruitful bond with each other. The title of the album, “12 Year Silence,” is based on the fact that it has been twelve years since these old chums have played in a band together. So what we have here is a debut from a band with instant confidence and a defined sound, that will definitely appeal to fans of the previously mentioned groups.
Brett Hestla (that dude from Creed) handles the main vocal duties, and all I can say is: Wow. The guy has great pipes. What was he doing with Creed when he had much more talent? He is backed by Clint Lowery, the fallen Sevendust guitarist, who is the main reason why this album, and perhaps the group themselves, will always be compared to Sevendust (brace yourself, you’re gonna see that name many times in this review). Those chunky, bottom heavy riffs he delivered in the ‘Dust are just as dominant here, while Troy McLawhorn (DoubleDrive) and the other Lowery brother, Corey (formerly of Stereomud) back him up on guitar and bass (and in that order). Will Hunt, he of Skrape fame, proves to be a solid drummer, and belts out many yells that will have people hearing Sevendust even more in this music. As good as Hestla is, along with the other members, Lowery is easily the star of the show. I loved him in Sevendust, he was a crucial member (which has me kinda worried about THEIR fate), and it was great to see a guitarist who was so involved in the writing process, with a great voice to go along. Fans who followed him from Sevendust will not be disappointed. Not to slight the other members though, they’ve all got skill. Afterall, there isn’t a bad track at all on this disc. “Brother,” “Taking Me Alive” and “Fill Me Again” are instant hits, and the best representatives of D.N.D.’s (no, not Dungeons & Dragons) sound. “That’s Enough” and “Follow The Sun Down,” as the lightest moments, also provide the most clarity, and are primarily focused on the gifted songwriting (while the other tracks are more based on hooks and riffs), which, much like Sevendust, is of a highly collaborative nature.
True, the album is not without it’s flaws. Main problem? You’ve heard Sevendust and Stereomud? Well, you know what to expect here. There’s no beating around the bush, this will appeal to any and all Sevendust fans. And on a side note, while I’m a great fan of Lowery’s, I’m a bit disappointed in his departure from what I consider to be one of the top rock bands of the past decade. As confident as I am in his replacement (Sonny Mayo, of Snot/Amen/(hed)p.e. fame), I know I will hear his absence in the next Sevendust album. Nevertheless, “12 Year Silence” is an instant hit. For a band that is rather new, but simultaneously old, they sure have a firm grip and will no doubt sound even better with their next record. And I bet they sound incredible live.