Darkhaus: My Only Shelter review

Bassist Gary Meskil and guitarist Marshall Stephens are world renowned for their work with New York hardcore legends Pro-Pain but when they teamed up with Eisbrecher frontman and mastermind Rupert Keplinger, the end product went beyond preconceived expectations and defies genre or classification.

Meskil was quoted as saying “Rupert and I took a no borders or boundries approach to this band because we were in search of a worldly sound with a worldly influence and universal appeal.”

The result of that uncompromising desire is Darkhaus, a band that literally consists of five men, spanning four countries, including Scottland, United States, Germany and Austria.

Considering the background of the various members involved, the final product for SPV Records, My Only Shelter, is an unexpected breath of fresh air that is unequivocally unique.

My Only Shelter covers a lot of musical ground, seamlessly integrating the various styles together into a focused and cohesive vision that is both timeless and endearing.

Tracks like “Don’t Close Your Eyes” and second single and video “Life Worth Living” draw inspiration from Godhead, Lo-Pro or even Moby, while the brooding and lackadaisical melodies of “Grace Divine” and “Angelina” travel down the road that was paved by H.I.M. and Paradise Lost.

Songs like “Drive,” “Looks Like Rain” and lead single/video, “Ghost,” throw elements of Korn, Alter Bridge, Opeth, 30 Seconds To Mars and 80’s techno into a giant melting pot, to create a delicious musical stew that defies logic and genre specification and somehow works on multiple levels.

The insistent melodies and euphoric tones of “Break Down The Walls” and “Son Of A Gun” come across like Green Day or Foo Fighters on steroids while “Our Time” sounds like the bastard son of Right Said Fred and Frankie Goes To Hollywood if Frankie had been fathered by Disturbed’s David Draiman.

At the same time, “Breaking The Silence” and “Hour Of Need” are hybrids of Rammstein, Depeche Mode and David Draiman’s Device project from last year and are bolstered by propulsive rhythms, mesmerizing hooks and huge, anthemic sing along choruses.

The album also delves into the more modern rock arena of Shinedown, Hinder and Saliva on “Apostle” and “Hurts Like Hell” as well as featuring a couple of remixes that will thrill fans of KMFDM and rave dance parties.

Here’s the bottom line- If you have been searching for something new that has the courage to be completely different, similar to what bands like Volbeat and Flogging Molly had the tenacity to do in the recent past then Darkhaus is the band for you as they are a sonic shock to the system.

Rating: 8.5/10

Eric Hunker