The second album from Beware of Darkness is as much a pump-up playlist as it is a follow-up to their 2013 debut.
It’s funny to learn that Beware of Darkness formed after two of its members met at an acoustic show. There couldn’t have been a more unlikely setting for the formation of this boisterous trio who, on their second album, continue with their form of rambunctious, metallic rock.
While Are You Real? lacks the variety of its predecessor, 2013’s Orthodox, the band gets away with this thanks to the clear vision they have for their sound. Jazzy vocal bends, rhythmic melodies, powerful hooks, and a sassy attitude all come together nicely. They're craftsmen of impeccable walk-on songs. There’s no better testament to this than “Muthafucka”, the album’s opener. They provide no reprieve from their full throttle, no-frills sound until “Angel”, more than halfway through the album. Most listeners will, however, probably be too caught up in the album’s energy to care.
There are some moments when the band pulls back a notch—closer “Delirium” and the more laid back “Sugar in the Raw” both come to mind—but Beware of Darkness are at the peak of their powers when they put everything on the line, coming up with fits of high-octane modern rock to rival Band of Skulls or Kaiser Chiefs.