New Jersey’s The Dark Matters released their album, Word to the Wise on Bandcamp back in 2015 - but they've have been tearing up the Central Jersey music scene since 2013 with everything they have to offer!
The six-track album is comprised of a true talent, thanks in part to the talented members such as Mario (lead guitar/vocals), Evan (drums/back-ups), Beddy (bass), and Leo (rhythm guitar), and throughout Word To The Wise they provide a melodic tone with a strong confident rhythm to follow!
The album starts out with “One in a Million,” a bone breaking rhythm that will give the listener whiplash before it’s even over. The riffs during the verses follow a tragic speaker, one who longs to release themselves from a disastrous relationship. The memorable lyrics are a nice start to this great album. The heaviness of the track gives you hope for the rest of the album to deliver blow after blow.
"One in a Million" is definitely my favorite song on the album, so check it out below!
Follow up track, “Battleship” is the most melodic track on the album. This brings home the talent and virtuosity of the entire group. With the lyrics coming in almost two minutes into the song, I nearly thought it was an instrumental piece. The speaker is a captain of a ship who takes responsibility of his transgressions, but the great instrumental talent does not take away from the metaphorical maritime lyrics. With limited verses, you are able to take the track as a whole, rather than in pieces.
Third track “Me and You” is a melodic love song that captures a feeling we've all probably experienced: love. The deep connection the speaker feels for the subject is evident in the lyrics. The speaker explains that the love lost may not be “the right time” and that they need to put some distance. And a twist in the plot makes changes, but I’ll let you listen yourself. This is my favorite song lyrically because I’m a sap. I’m not sorry.
Much like “One in a Million," “This Too Shall Pass” is one of the heavier tracks on the album, but this track also has a nice melody that keeps you coming back for more. The Dark Matters give you a taste for this song with “One in a MIllion” & “Battleship,” just combine the two styles with this track. The heavier beginning of the track matches with the melancholy lyrics. Then the lyrics become more uplifting, and with that the instrumental accompaniment. It's a refreshing and more positive track that you aren't going to be seeing in this genre typically.
Second to close track “Too Far” continues the positive power with the idea of taking in love and rejecting hate. The hate people hold in their hearts cannot be kept forever. The heavy-melodic track is a perfect backdrop for the angry yet positive meaning. Instead of waking up with a hate in your heart, wake up with the sunrise is the sense I'm getting.
The last track, “The Hidden Truth," is a powerful and resentful song. The speaker is angry about his lover cheating on him, calling the lover “a sheep in wolf’s clothing”. The speaker hates their former lover and wants them to come clean with what they have done. They want them to feel guilty for what they have done. They see their former lover for what they really are: a cheater and a liar. The longest track on the album, this song wraps it up perfectly. Brings everything home with a heavy rhythm and melodic tone. I could see this being a favorite for many, but im sticking to my story with “One in a Million."
Word To The Wise Tracklist:
1. One in a Million
3. Me & You
4. This Too Shall Pass
5. Too Far
6. The Hidden Truth
This album is great, and I’d recommend to anyone who likes melodic progressive rock. These guys have been taking the Jersey scene by storm and this album shows you why. At a small fault each track shares similar equations musically, but they each have their own merit and sound. The melodic and heavy tracks compliment each other nicely. It’s fantastic lyrically and instrumentally and should be on your playlist.
Thanks for reading this review! I’ll see you in the pit.