Take Tool and throw in a dash of Breaking Benjamin, Evanescence and Linkin Park and you should a pretty good idea what Left in The Dark sounds like. The band comprised of Josh Schaurer (vocals/piano/guitar), Brian Gerth (drums/piano/backing vocals), George Hargreaves (guitar/backing vocals) and Travis Reynolds (bass, backing vocals) recently released their debut entitled Shadowglass.
Before we get to the music I have to take some time to applaud Josh Schaurer for his talent in the studio. It was a complete DIY effort and Schaurer recorded, mixed and mastered the album. The results can rival a professional studio and is one of the few complete DIY efforts that I can say that about.
So their music can be compared to Tool in a couple of ways but it mostly comes out when Schaurer hits a certain frequency and octave with his vocals. There were multiple times I swore he was Maynard James Keenan. It’s food for thought and is most likely Schaurer’s natural voice but might be something they will get criticized for at some point. The fact is some singers sound alike. I swear to this day Jana Hunter from Lower Dens sounds almost exactly like Victoria Legrand from Beach House.
After the minute-and-a-half long piano intro entitled “Sound of the Hourglass” you better buckle up. There really aren’t many moments to breathe afterwards. The band immediately establishes the heights they can achieve on “Denial” and “Lie To Me.” All of the members are technically proficient but Gerth absolutely kills it on the drums time and time again. The guy is in the pocket and like a human metronome at times while pulling off jaw dropping fills.
One of the highlights was “We Aren't” which is an onslaught of sounds after the first few seconds. The intense adrenaline inducing music combines which a blood-curdling scream. Once the verse appears Schaurer sings, “Once upon a time I loved myself / When I believed you were part of me / A hard truth was revealed with time / When all became a desperate plea / Controlling me.”
There is a lot more to this album and the band doesn’t waste any moments. They pack it with a lot of sounds they could overwhelm those who have thin skin. This is a very promising start from the band. The one thing I would mention in the advice column is to keep chipping away at establishing their own sound.
Overall, this is a hard-hitting album that showcases strong songwriting, delivery and ideas.
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