The Darkness with guest Diarrhea Planet Rock Out Terminal West

Photos by Shaun Krisher (full galleries at the end of the review)

The night of  April 28 was filled with events all around Atlanta, from Bill Burr to Foo Fighters. However, the real scene was at Terminal West as they hosted two fantastic rocks acts, Diarrhea Planet from Nashville and the one and only The Darkness hailing from across the pond. Attendees came from all around Atlanta to jam out as they flowed into the venue, packing out the house in this sold out show. Libations were served to honor the rock gods as the night with patrons also partaking in nicotine cloud blowing as well. Overall, Terminal West was ready to host another killer show.

First up for the night was the one and only Diarrhea Planet, a band with a few layers to dig into. Don’t let their band name fool you into thinking these guys are some run of the mill garage group from the music capital that is Nashville. These guys comprise their entourage with six instruments, which doesn’t sound odd at first, but four of them are guitars, one is a bass, and the last one is a drum kit. Yes, four guitars. One would think their would be some clashing of sound in their performance with that heavily weighted guitar section. However, these guys have true talent that makes their composition work. Definitely feel them channeling The Ramones as critics have said before. Each guitarist, as well as their bassist, got his turn in the spotlight to showboat, with leaps and stage diving filling out their set in addition to killer licks. As the last time they played Terminal West was for the Mayan apocalypse in 2012, I hope to see these guys around more. Definitely a set to behold with one’s own eyes.

For the main course, The Darkness took the stage to revel us Americans with some classic UK rock. As the band went through some rough patches following their success in the early 2000s, it was a treat to see them reunited with their original band members. Their sound has a strong taste of 80s glam rock with a very crunchy bite and spicy aftertaste. Overall, their performance has aged very well like a bottle of wine as it has almost been 20 years since they originally took to the airwaves with their sound. Each member had a dynamic outfit, with their lead singer Justin Hawkins dressed in a leopard skin leotard and their bassist Frankie looking like an 80s cop but more dynamically colorful. The Darkness has their showmanship on lock with hardly any act I’ve seen matching it. And now to their sound. Justin has some chops. He can hit those shrill high notes almost casually with a nice rounding of vibrato. His vocals paired well with the solid guitar playing of his brother Dan, funky bass lines of Frankie, and slick pocket-living drum beats of Rufus Tiger Taylor, who is as some maybe have guessed the son of the legendary Roger Taylor of a little band called Queen. The overall energy put out by The Darkness in their shows should register on the Richter scale or at the very least score them a contract with a power company.  As these guys are back and touring after they regrouped in 2011, The Darkness is a must see for any lover of rock and roll. If you have any doubts, give Pinewood Smile a listen. But seriously, go see these guys live.

Both of these acts are on the “Tour de Prance” as they take over the states one show at a time. To catch them on tour, check out their tour dates here.

Gallery – Diarrhea Planet

Photo Gallery – The Darkness




CD Review: ‘Duality’ by Rhine

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Whilst going through my first listen of Rhine’s debut album, Duality, I couldn’t decide whether to applaud or laugh at the one-man-band efforts of Gabriel Tachell. Laugh might sound like a mean response to someone’s hard work, but I assure you that it isn’t my intention to disrespect anyone. Rather, it is due to the ultimate freedom that this album displays, and actively explores. While Rhine has created a chiefly death metal release, it is certainly progressive in many ways, the contrast of which can be humorous when you hear it for the first time. One thing is certain, however: there is a musicality to Duality that is not only impressive, but alluring and refreshing.

I’m very particular about my death metal. If the vocals don’t contain a particular growl to screech ratio, or if they’re not guttural enough…or too guttural, then it just won’t do! I’m just kidding, of course. I don’t sit here and measure these things, but honestly, there are very few vocalists that I really like in the field of harsh singing. Some of the ones that come to mind that I really like are Lamb Of God’s Randy Blythe, Death’s Chuck Schuldiner, and Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt. Now I believe it’s time to add Gabriel Tachell to that list. He has a vocal depth that not only hits you in the gut and sends out vibrations, but rises up to a screech that will cut to the bone but is short of being shrill. Being able to understand most of the words to the songs helps too!

I mentioned laughing and applauding. That is because Rhine is unafraid of boundaries. The music is played superbly and there is never a doubt that a single note has gone astray. The riffs are tight and full, but do wise to shy away from being a wall of noise.  If the music isn’t dynamic, and a wall of noise is not, then there is no room to breathe and the song suffocates. Duality ranges from brutal, but groove-filled guitar passages to delicate airy notes that linger and fade. Not since Opeth’s Blackwater Park have I been this enthralled by a death metal release. Powerhouses like “Masking Hostility” burn the ears and the soothing sounds of songs like “Forgotten Soul” provide the salve. But there is a more playful side to this release as well. Take the song “Goregeous” for instance, which simply in name shows the dual nature of this album. While starting off extremely heavy, and intricate – the twin guitars doubling a computerized lick – it transforms into…something. Imagine if The Darkness was trying to parody itself. That’s honestly the best way I can describe it. And I’m pretty sure that the short excursion, which lasts for only a minute before returning to its death metal origins, gets kicked off with a burb.

This is a thick album and one obvious reason for that is due to it beginning with a 9+ minute track entitled “Until Death Remains” and ending with an epic 17 minute moody closer called “Living In Perfect Harmony.” As it a result, it may not make it onto your Summer Drive Mix next time you hit the road. But for those who feel like brooding, or want to jam out to some well-done death metal, I urge you to give this a listen. The music is atmospheric, but not nearly so dissonant as to detract from it being enjoyable. Gabriel Tachell has impressed me with not only his talent as a player, but how he could make this release feel so much like a unified band effort while doing everything himself. Rhine is currently working on its sophomore release, this time with a line-up that has been perfecting itself on the road, even supporting Sepultura. With the fantastic performance on Duality I can only imagine what shall result from this combined effort. May we not need wait long!

For more on Rhine, visit:
Official Website
Purchase Duality: From The Band!