Here’s a review from- https://sonomuerto.com.au/
Dark Horse recently dropped their latest album “Trauma-Taught Self Destruct” and fans of Punk, Grind and Dbeat will want to get on this one. The Sydney based band have ground themselves into 12 bombardments of violent tunes reminiscent of Napalm Death, Bolt Thrower and Poison Idea.
On “Trauma-Taught Self Destruct”, Dark Horse have dialled their sound back a little without losing any of the intensity found on their previous work such as “Bomb Thrower”. They remain full of energy, focused on hitting listeners hard with more sonic space for all the instruments. That’s not to say it’s a clean record, it’s anything but.
The production is on the natural side with a relatively under-gained tone employed in the guitars. Laden with picks, scrapes and mutes throughout. The bass has an articulate precision style tone that provides much of the movements within the songs. The drums are clear and punchy with solid overall performances throughout, delivered with a truckload of punch. The tunes are not at all mechanical and the human element in the performances is strong which holds emphasis.
Dennis’s vocal performance is packed with frustration and angst from start to finish. He has an intense Mark Greenway style that ties the music together strongly. The mixing style lends a lot to the vocals as the mix isn’t dense. With the mixing being done by long time collaborator Jason Fuller, formerly of Australian luminaries Blood Duster, it’s not a surprise that the production is masterful.
Listening to the Trauma-Taught Self Destruct is like that scene in Terminator 2 where the T-800 gets smashed in the face repetitively.
There was one facet of the album that caught my ear which is normally problematic but not this time. The guitar tones are so clean that it’s possible to hear dissonances in the notes. It’s hard to say where this comes from, possibly a guitar that slipped slightly from intonation would be my guess. Whatever the case, it kinda works as a feature of the album and isn’t an obtrusive sound. It enhanced the intensity of the vocals and it’s the type of uniqueness I like in a record. I would have liked to have heard a little more gain in the guitar though I appreciate that the under gained sound allows the bass to stand out more
The album is quite short at 29 minutes but it’s a blazing 29 minutes! Listeners won’t find a great deal of variety, dynamics or musical gymnastics. Listening to the album is more akin to that scene in Terminator 2 where the T-800 gets smashed in the face repetitively. Sometimes the face smashing is mid paced, other times it’s a short and frantic bombardment.