Album Review: The Long Dark Road – Self-Titled

By Andrew Bansal

The Long Dark Road is a new band hailing from Toronto, Canada, readying to release their self-titled debut album as their first effort to exhibit their eclectic brand of dark, heavy music. The vision and brainchild of vocalist/guitarist Jeremy Cavan, The Long Dark Road draws inspiration from black metal and blends elements of hardcore, punk, shoegaze and alt rock. This four-track, 35-minute offering certainly establishes the band’s initial identity and presents them as a band that generates intrigue.

The opening track ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’ clearly showcases Jeremy Cavan’s Deafheaven influences, as he has stated that the very idea for this band came to him upon listening to ‘Sunbather’. This 10-minute track starts out very lo-fi and shoegazy, almost straight out of a Deafheaven record, black metal guitar parts with clean singing and barely audible rhythm section, but then goes into mellow passages and takes a turn into stoner rock territory a la Baroness with relatively more aggressive but still clean vocals. This track sets the precedent for the kind of wild diversity and dynamism that decorates the entirety of this release.

‘I Will Follow’ is a splendid follow-up to the epic opener, building up with dark, tense melodies into ultra-heavy segments of varying tempo, complete with a melancholic guitar-only bridge that explodes into its heaviest, most violent burst. ‘The State of Our Union’ is yet another curiosity-arousing track, channeling more of the punk influences but still incorporating the black metal, stoner rock and hardcore, sounding like Refused in some parts. The title track ends the album, perfectly encapsulating all the aforementioned musical components in one epic 10-minute composition.

Listening to a private Soundcloud stream of this album for the purpose of this review made it an even more fascinating experience because in each song one could clearly notice the differing patterns of waveforms, and each of these waveforms distinctly represents a different musical style. The most striking quality of the album is that the songs have been fully allowed to breath regardless of their lengths, the musical expression coming across as absolutely complete within each track, and indeed on the album as a whole.

The Long Dark Road’s self-titled debut is not straightforward and takes time to be fully comprehended and appreciated, but it truly signals the birth of an entity that may well go on to achieve great things, in a world of heavy music that desperately needs out-of-the-box composers like Jeremy Cavan.

Rating: 9/10

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Release Date: April 8th 2017

Track Listing:
1. The Tragedy of the Commons (9:52)
2. I Will Follow (8:22)
3. The State of Our Union (6:56)
4. The Long Dark Road (10:03)

Total Duration: 35:13

The Long Dark Road links: facebook | bandcamp