Nathan Gray Collective – Untill The Darkness Takes Us

And now for something completely different…

Yes, I know this website is mainly about “roots” music, but it still is MY website, so I can write about whatever the fuck I want. Deal with it! I’m going to be writing about pop music, yes, you’ve read that correctly, POP music… But not the kind of pop music you’ll hear on the radio or see in the charts. This is Satanic Pop Music! I can see you scratching your head, it was a new term for me also when I first heard it. And then again, this album has nothing to do with popular music… It’s a thing on it’s own…

About two years ago Nathan Gray, former singer for BoySetsFire, released his first self entitled ep, containing an eclectic mix of songs going from the dark electro powerhouse “Wolves” to “Corson – An Ode to Vital Existence”, the emotional up-call for taking your life by it’s core and making it yours! Now there is “Untill The Darkness Takes Us”, an epic journey into the past and present life of Nathan Gray.

Together with this album Nathan also released a book with the same title, I suggest you buy both to fully understand this album and feel its power. The record opens with “Heathen Blood” and as with “Wolves” from the first ep, this song grabs you by the balls and doesn’t let go until you get the message. A venomous testament against organized religion and oppression by those institutions. A very powerful opener and a tone-setter for the rest of the ride.

As there are 13 songs on this album and I know some of you still have shit to do, I’m not going to go in detail on all of them (they are worth it). I’m going to bundle some and elaborate on others. One of the songs I will elaborate on is “Skin”, I hated the song the first time I heard it, it was the only one on the album I did not like, but the more I listen to it, the more I appreciate it. At first it has this very euro-pop vibe, think Covenant and Apoptygma Bezerk, bands I used to love dancing on but got so sick off hearing. For some strange reason this song gets in your brain and it stays there, it’s catchy as fuck! “Desire” is another song that has this euro-pop/dark wave influence with it’s uptempo dance beats and sing-a-long mid-sections.

Let’s continue… The piano songs, as I like to call them… “Damascus” and “Anthemic Hearts”. Two beautiful songs drivin by, you guessed it… Piano… Sigh… Do I need to explain everything? C’mon guys, get with the program… Serious now, both these songs deal with the same theme, and if you read the book you will truly understand them and appreciate them even more. Empowering…

Let’s descend into darkness… Follow me please, don’t touch the walls…  “At War”, Nathan unleashes his demons and takes no prisoners. We can hear a glimpse of his hardcore past, but mostly we hear an industrial battle anthem, and fuck yeah, I’m standing erect, ready to kill! FORWARD!!!

Now RISE up, feel the New Dawn, taste the fruits of your struggle and live your life freely! “Remains” and “Memento Mori”, both testimonies of how a person can take his own life back and start living again, one more electronic then the other… “Remains” could be a piano song, but because of the chorus, which is pure punk-rock in nature,  I did not include it.

“Until The Darkness Takes Us”… A slow moving song, a homecoming,  powerful lyrics… Again, read the book and you will understand… “Jettison” is a full on modern pop-rock song, a perfect combination of guitar and electronics. But so much more honest and fierce then the crap you hear on the radio.

“Lusus Naturae”, the second song on the album. I know it’s a little weird to talk about the second song at the end of the review, but this song holds special meaning to me. It’s one of the most “rocking” songs on the album and absolutely essential on this album, and if you want to know that special meaning…  Come see me…

This still is a site about roots music, but I hope you guys are openminded and will give this album a listen. Nathan will be on tour in Europe, starting early april. Check the tour dates on his website and go see him. Read the book and enjoy the record!

https://www.nathangraycollective.com/

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