Sometimes an album seeps in to your being, wraps itself around your bones, and refuses to let go. When you’re lying in bed at night, in those moments between being asleep or awake, there it is, seemingly staring at you from the dark corners and daring you to hear its truth. And sometimes that truth is dark as fuck.
Doctor please don’t take my legs
No Doctor please don’t take my legs
How am I goin’ to get down on my knees and beg
Doctor please don’t take my legs
Most of the artists we write about here are good a baring their souls for us but every once in a while someone guts themselves in an impressive manner. When The Darkness Come is Michael Dean Damron’s self-sacrifice on our altar. This is not a comfortable album, it’s not pretty, and it’s not always to listen to. This is Mike D. using us as priests and our speakers as a confessional but never actually asking for forgiveness. It’s the depth of the darkness that makes this one a little scary. The depth of the darkness contained in these eleven songs makes me really hope that getting them helped the man who wrote them get rid of some of the demons that obviously haunt him.
Don’t know that Jesus died to wash your sins away
Please heed his call, in sin don’t fall
We’re getting closer to the grave each day
There is a mortality to When The Darkness Come that resonates through every tune. These are not songs written by a man who thinks he’ll live forever nor are they the songs of a youthful writer who thinks he can change the world, these are the songs of a man telling the truth and not giving a damn who hears it, these are truths that resonate with me as I’m at an age where mortality is a very real thing. I’ve seen enough friends shuffle off this mortal coil that I know any of us could go at any time. I’ve long since given up being an angry young man and view the world through the eyes of a curmudgeon so I can completely relate to an album where the niceties of life are flayed and the reality of existence is the main focus.
So let them tyrants fall and let the wretched come home
The only thing I know for sure in this world, I don’t know nothin’ at all
And let the truth that be sung, the truth is we’re all alone
There is, however, deliverance in truth and freedom in knowing that you can’t escape fate. And in that manner When The Darkness Come is a very cathartic piece for the listener. The hope that’s here is summed up in the last song, more of a wish for change rather than hope but some days that’s all you can muster when everything around us seems like it’s all going to hell. I don’t know of many artists capable of this level of self-honesty in their work and for that alone I would call this Essential Listening but it’s that for so many other reasons as well. Everything is right where it should be on this album, the production, the track order, the music itself, and I think you can tell how I feel about the lyrics. The places that this album takes me are scary but having someone else along for the ride, even if it’s only through my headphones, makes it a little easier to stare down my demons and dare them to flinch. So thank you, Michael Dean Damron, for giving us a metaphorical hand to hold even if that hand is reaching out our darkest places.
Unfortunately for you, if you didn’t back the Kickstarter for this one, you can’t get your greedy little mitts on until May. In the meantime you can stalk Mike D. on Facebook or go buy some of his previous work. This is a man worthy of your support so if you don’t have his back catalog then fix that between now and May 1st when this one drops for the rest of you.