After certain bands that shall remain nameless (sounds like Stinkin Fark) turned the hard rock/dual vocal world in an about-face back to ballads, my opinion of almost all hard rock/metal faded like a lingering power chord.

Darkness in the Light is the machine gun drumming, shredding guitar antidote to the wave of mediocre releases of late.

Unearth’s fifth studio release erupts into the world on a foundation of completely unrestrained methodical mayhem. This album rocks your face so hard that listening with an iPod on will make you feel like you’ve just been thrown out of a moshpit of me, myself, and I.

On first approach I was rather hesitant to open myself up to the 11 tracks of brutal vocals and pulse pounding thrash metal. Each song diverges from the status quo and raises the bar of metal production. “Watch it Burn” breaks for a moment with a simple tap of a high-hat and regroups the entire song to create a whole new build up and explosion of energy. “Last Wish” begins with mild spoken lyrics before quickly building into a rally anthem for a fight. This theme of simple quirks is consistent throughout and, as easy as they are to oversee, adds to just how impressive these boys from Massachusetts can be. Trevor Phipps’ lead vocals backed by the occasionally paired vocals of John Maggard, and Ken Susi balance out what tempts generic but propels metal. Add to the mix the immensely talented drumming of Killswitch Engage’s Justin Foley, each track makes me feel exhausted and I’m not even playing anything. Give me a few minutes and I’m jumping back in to this album. I can’t get enough.

Each song is one explosive thrashing, heavy metal track after another and though they seem without restraint, they’re clear evidence of the talent and progression possessed by these guys. My money is on “The Fallen” with its spectacular build ups and aggressive guitar riff to be the must hear on this album. Of the whole, “Overcome” wins the seriously badass solo award.

Breaking apart the sissies from the men, Darkness in the Light is the album that will solidify hope for metal and have you head banging non-stop for nearly 40 minutes.