It's often said that depression is closely entwined with creativity. But with resolve the tale is often sweeter. Inspired by singer Darrin South’s journey through malaise and the subsequent recovery, Out Of The Darkness is somewhere between an ode to the proverbial black dog and a euphoric statement of intent.
You’ll either herald SMT as the UK’s answer to Alter Bridge (with the hard-edged riffs of Megadeth) or sell-outs pandering to major labels. Regardless, these Brits, who are now on their second album, no longer have to worry about ‘potential’ because they’ve hit the mark.
First with their unrelenting shred-fest coaxing every six-string maniac into their haven of guitar worship, and secondly with Darrin’s delivery – the smooth operator of hard rock lyricism channelling the spirit of Maynard James Keenan with a low-key emotion that ripples through the album. There are some real ‘wow’ moments, like the apocalyptic The City Is Crying packed with thrash riffs and diehard shredding or Believe, whose minor-key refrain will have men weeping into their pint glasses.
Regretfully, a portion of the album is signposted for Blandsville but the momentum fuelled by decent production gives it that forgiving Disturbed/Five Finger Death Punch sheen that stamps it with ‘hit’.