How Did We Get So Dark? Image
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critic Reviews What's this?

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7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 95 Ratings

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  • Summary: The second full-length release for the British rock duo was first written instrumentally in sessions in Brighton, Los Angeles and Nashville before being recorded (with vocals) in Brussels.
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Top Track

Hook, Line & Sinker
She's got the devil on one shoulder And the other's getting colder She looks so good but it's not nearly Feeling like it's supposed to Going slow,... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Q Magazine
    Jun 14, 2017
    80
    There are moments when the slick threatens to overwhelm the raw, and not just when extraneous elements are introduced. But the gut-level punch of Kerr's bass and the thunderstruck gallop of Thatcher's drumming cannot be denied. [Aug 2017, p.106]
  2. Jun 16, 2017
    80
    Broadening the sonic palette helps sharpen the songs, and the result is a sophomore set that's ambitious and satisfying.
  3. Kerrang!
    Jul 26, 2017
    80
    At some point, a little experimenting may be needed, but for now this cements their status as the behemoths of British rock. [17 Jul 2017, p.50]
  4. Jul 5, 2017
    70
    There are few bands that can match Royal Blood at their heavy, melodic best, and How Did We Get So Dark? proves to be a thrilling--if limited--listen from one of the UK’s fastest-rising rock bands.
  5. Oct 5, 2017
    67
    The title track won't drag big rock forward, but How Did We Get So Dark? will definitely scratch a riff-loving itch.
  6. Jun 19, 2017
    60
    While it starts thrillingly--the title track and Lights Out as good as anything they’ve ever done and reminiscent of Queens of the Stone Age at their most imperious--they fail to sustain their momentum, the middle of the album suffering from a surfeit of unremarkable filler.
  7. 40
    They’re still sculpted from the same small portfolio of sounds--basically, buzzing distorted guitar riffs and harmony chants borne along on pummelling drum barrages--which tends to impose too narrow an emotional range on the album. It’s like being hectored loudly by a bore.

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 20
  2. Negative: 2 out of 20
  1. May 13, 2019
    10
    This album is easily one of my favorites, ever, Though I loved their first album, I personally believe this one outdoes it in almost everyThis album is easily one of my favorites, ever, Though I loved their first album, I personally believe this one outdoes it in almost every way. Though only using a drum kit and bass, they manage to make every song sound different, somehow. They can go from wonky beats like "She's Creeping" to hardcore riffs like "Hook, Line and Sinker". The amount of talent it must take to think of genius songs like this is incredible. Not to mention, they sound fantastic too. There isn't a song on the album I'd skip. Every form of rock they attempt for this album is absolutely amazing; the whole thing was nailed. Not to mention, the guitar solos in nearly every song are superb; on the same level as other guitar greats. Even the lyrics--though one of the weaker parts--are witty and quirky, albeit a bit similar. All in all, whether you're a fan of rock or not, this album is worth a try just because of its sheer inventiveness. I can only hope their next album lives up to the standard set by this fantastic one. Expand
  2. Jun 19, 2017
    10
    Sophomore jinx? I think NOT! Another excellent display of brutal rock and roll. I like when a band challenges themselves and attempts to doSophomore jinx? I think NOT! Another excellent display of brutal rock and roll. I like when a band challenges themselves and attempts to do something different They deserve this 10. Expand
  3. Jun 17, 2017
    9
    As a followup to their self titled album, How Did We Get So Dark feels like their first genuine step forward as a band. From front to back,As a followup to their self titled album, How Did We Get So Dark feels like their first genuine step forward as a band. From front to back, every song is presented with new, refreshing ideas, and brutally satisfying songs. The title track shows the character of their songs expanding to include vaster chords with layering vocal harmonies to make very interesting sounds, and a genuine fun time. Lights Out has been my favorite jam waiting for this album to come out, with its dramatic break downs and desperate vocals. I Only Lie When I Love You is a fine simple jam, though one of the weaker tracks. She's Creeping starts out grating but reveals complexity as the idea keeps layering up to make something worthwhile by the time of the last verse. Look Like You Know continues to show the sound of the band expanding beyond, adding more satisfying layering and style. The vocals and spooky little guitar add so much, and this is one of their best breakdowns. Where Are You Now is fast, easy to move to, and luckily doesn't drop on the building up they've done on the guitar harmonies. Don't Tell is probably the least remarkable song on the album, but still offers a nice little listen in between all the more frantic and demanding songs. Case in point, Hook Line and Sinker. This tune demands head banging hard enough to break your neck. Structurally it is as simplistic as some of my less favorite songs on this album, but rules what it does hard. A song to rock to. Hole In Your Heart is the song that convinces me the most that this is a band to watch. The new sounds they incorporate into their style are so nice, and it is very satisfying to hear their range expand. The outro is so massive and epic, that by the end when the electric piano comes back it feels like a satisfying exhale. And with Sleep, we get a fine outro with a steady jam with a dramatic chord progression, and a downer, long sustain, of an ending. Easily, one of my favorites of the year. Expand
  4. Nov 9, 2017
    7
    Хороший альбом добротной инди-рок группы Royal Blood,В этом альбоме нет ничего сверхъестественного это просто хороший альбом который сделан поХороший альбом добротной инди-рок группы Royal Blood,В этом альбоме нет ничего сверхъестественного это просто хороший альбом который сделан по всем канонам рока и который способен показать на что способны два человека если тщательно работать над музыкой. Expand
  5. Jul 22, 2020
    6
    Talk about pressure. The debut album was hailed (and rightly so) as a new standard-bearer for good old rock and roll, with a new instrumentalTalk about pressure. The debut album was hailed (and rightly so) as a new standard-bearer for good old rock and roll, with a new instrumental approach, no less. The boys almost pull it off again but prove that the gimmick of guitar-and-bass-in-one may be even getting old to them already. Adding the occasional backing vocal or keyboard lick that can't be duplicated live unless they add members or (ugh) use samples is a step backward. The star of this album is the hard-pounding drumming of Ben Thatcher, which easily adds a point or two to what otherwise sounds like outtakes that for the most part were outdone on Album One. The early release of "I Only Lie When I Love You" is telling, as it's by far the best song on the disc, with its pulse-and-pause riding the beat to heaven. The title track comes close as well - the rest isn't actually filler but sure isn't what was hoped for. Expand
  6. Jun 24, 2017
    6
    Aside from their exceptional debut, released in 2014, this album doesn't have any "memorable" song - a song that I can hear and say that itAside from their exceptional debut, released in 2014, this album doesn't have any "memorable" song - a song that I can hear and say that it fits with my mood or whatsoever. The first 2 songs and the last 2 are the only real good songs that doesn't feel like a "Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V" of the other songs. The middle of the album is a never-ending-filler - the same song with different lyrics.

    The band improved itself in drumming, 'bassing', singning and songwritting, you can see that on the album. But they just f... everything up making repeatitive songs.
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  7. Jul 8, 2017
    1
    I grew up listening to metal in its classic heyday and watched it evolve into what we call alt-metal today. And I know the best bands of thatI grew up listening to metal in its classic heyday and watched it evolve into what we call alt-metal today. And I know the best bands of that genre will never be considered the “lesser sons of greater sires”. But the fact is that Royal Blood proves that true metal may no longer have any relevance. I chose to try to catch up with the current trends when, very recently, I saw this duo on a British live concert cable show; they rocked the crap out of the program and I dug the variation on the 2-man group but with no true guitarist this time. They played “Little Monster” from their debut and it really stuck in my mind. I googled them and read some of their reviews; they were considered the new “it” band in metal. And I saw that their sophomore CD was about to drop. Since together, their total length was about 67 minutes, I bought both. And the promising start to their self-titled initial release (“Out of the Black” is an engaging and unique first track for any album) gave me confidence that metal might be back. Wow, was I wrong! These guys are way overrated and overhyped. I think the duo thing has a lot to do with it. But that band configuration (besides the pedestrian songwriting, inane lyrics, simplistic 80s hairband-like melodies, derivative vocals, etc.) is their biggest weakness. There is a limit to how many songs that contain no real chords a discerning listener can take; you might as well call it “no-chord rock” instead of “3-chord rock”. It gets old really, really fast! And the fact that there is a lot of double and triple tracking that can never be reproduced live by 2 guys is also a travesty. All the songs on both these 2 releases are interchangeable and they are almost all huge disappointments. When you think about the recent crop of new bands and more recent releases in the category of old school and alternative metal, compare them to bands like Tool, SOAD, Deftones, the Melvins, etc.; more recently, Mastodon and…..uh, that’s it. Maybe I have just outgrown old school metal; I still enjoy some of the newer what you could call “hard rock” bands/artists like Black Mountain, Ty Segal, Silversun Pickups, Band of Skulls, Savages, etc. As someone who thought he would never utter such heresy, I hate to say that it might be time to sound the death knell for this genre. It makes this dude feel very, very sad (& very, very old). Expand

See all 20 User Reviews