Sound — 9
Sacred Mother Tongue are a British melodic metal band. Formed in 2004, "Out of the Darkness" is their second full-length album - their first released under a major label - and their sound has shifted somewhat in comparison to their debut, "The Ruin of Man." The mixing on this album in proves to be excellent - sonically, "Out of the Darkness" proves to be massive, but in a good way - no overbearing instruments and audible bass.
As for the instrumentation, the record is littered with sublime riffs - a particular standout coming from the opener, "Demons." Andy James plays with blistering speed yet remains tasteful in technicality and this is showcased by some excellent soloing throughout, particularly prominent on songs such as "Evolve/Become" and the album's lead single, "A Light Will Shine." The rhythm section is particularly strong too - fairly technical drumming and some catchy little basslines are to be found on the album.
Throughout, the nuances of bands such as Megadeth, Exodus and Iron Maiden can be heard, particularly on tracks such as the fast-paced "Seven" and "Evolve/Become" but Sacred Mother Tongue manages to weave these in with subtlety and grace, providing an excellent sound overall.
Lyrics — 6
Unlike their first album, "The Ruin of Man," the band's sophomore effort features a complete absence of harsh vocals - perhaps for the better, as Darrin South's harsh vocals were severely lacking. His clean singing, however, fits well with the music, but the lack of softer moments do leave him unable to showcase some of his range. His vocals do work well intertwined with the heavier riffing, however - particularly clear on tracks such as "The City Is Crying."
Lyrically, the album has its moments, as shown on "Seven":
"Here after midnight, awake in this moonlight
Not really watching the screen
It's audible; barely, gives comfort to me
I pray it will put me to sleep
But the constant vision, keeps my eyes open
Holds my attention awake."
However, the lyrical content on tracks such as "Bleeding Out" does seemingly lack in comparison:
"So once again I see we're wrapped in shackles
Push me back the closer I come to
I guess that we both know the way that this will turn out
Hate for me more simplifies my love for you"
The best way to describe the lyrical content is adequate - by no means terrible, but could perhaps be written better. Nonetheless, the songs prove to be catchy.
Overall Impression — 7
Sacred Mother Tongue's sophomore record provides a heavy yet accessible sound that could provide an excellent gateway into even heavier music for newer fans of metal. The blending of elements of thrash and power metal into their music also provides an interesting listen for those more familiar with the genre.
Standout tracks include "Demons," "A Light Will Shine" and "The City Is Crying," all boasting stellar vocals, riffs and solos amongst the three.
Sadly, the band have broken up as of the posting of this review (May 2014) citing issues with finances as a result of not being able to expand their fanbase, but at least the band truly went out on a high with this album.