How Did We Get So Dark? Image
Metascore
71

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

User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 97 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: 12 out of 21
  2. Negative: 2 out of 21
  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. Apr 4, 2018
    9
    I originally gave it a 7 but with time this album just gets better and I love listening to this one better than their debut.
  4. Mar 8, 2018
    7
    a brilliant second effort, absolutely flawless album from start to finish, but it isn't quite as good as their debut
  5. Jun 19, 2017
    6
    They seem to have become a parody of themselves.

    I LOVED their first album, but this one is just too similar with no stand out tracks. It
    They seem to have become a parody of themselves.

    I LOVED their first album, but this one is just too similar with no stand out tracks. It all sounds/feels like one long song reminiscent of the previous album. Although I like the band and can't wait to see them open for QOTSA in the fall, I can't really get behind this sophomore album like I did the first.
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  6. Jun 25, 2017
    6
    A case of the difficult second album; HDWGSD? maintains the bands now trademarked slickness, but suffers from an absence of memorable hooksA case of the difficult second album; HDWGSD? maintains the bands now trademarked slickness, but suffers from an absence of memorable hooks and most of all, fresh ideas. The result is a listenable but unexciting lookalike of their debut that sounds more as if it was thrown together over a fortnight, than finely crafted over three years. Expand
  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 21 User Reviews