For a four-track EP, The Long Dark Road feels like a full length release. This could have to do with the length of the tracks — all over five minutes, and most nearing ten — but it also holds true on an emotional level. Each track breaks down into multiple parts, multiple moods and emotions along common themes. Where some tracks explore the anthemic capability of power chords and the wail of a guitar (“The Long Dark Road”) others find a groove that seeps into you (“The State of Our Union”).
The Long Dark Road is a Toronto-based project that displays clear knowledge of songwriting and production. Without the use of electronic drum fills or synths, the band instead takes their innovation to a structural level, such as in the pattern of growled lyrics, melodic vocals, then a guitar burst that fills the first section of “I Will Follow”. The track then dives into a meandering soft centre before re-exploding for a powerful finish. Structurally fascinating.
The self-titled EP won’t be released until April 8th, but you can listen to the opening track, “Tragedy of the Commons” above. It’s a perfect sampler of the EP: metal that knows how to hook an audience. Opening with the familiar sounds of traffic, a train-like rush of percussion, and larger-than-life guitar, we get a taste of the sounds that pervade the album. On this track, the drums are a wonder, the energy unbelievable. After a false ending, the track concludes on the same traffic note it began on. Unity accompanying diversity.