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Synth Single Review: "The Darkness" by Brian Hazard

Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.


Color Theory’s The Darkness is a paean to the night and an expression of love. Ethereally tumbling synth creates a delicately drifting pattern, touched with gentle emotion before Brian Hazard’s touching, aching voice carries a fragile melody. Flickering synths tingle against a medium-high synth’s rounded resonance.

Gruff bass pulses in broken lines as Brian Hazard’s tremulous, caressing voice carries the lyrics. The vocal melody brings in some light and air as trembling emotion flows. Rough-edged, towering bass contrasts with the vocal tenderness. Steadily tumbling, full-sounding synths are touched by hollow tapping.

Soothing feelings glide from the vocal melody while resonating, smooth synth washes through. The beat gains energy and a grainy, ticking sound while distant piano chords drift and trickling, metallic sounds pop. Hard-edged bass growls and silence falls as the song ends.

In the first line of the song, the night tells the story. It talks about how all one’s “grievances and pain” are engulfed within “the black of my domain.” Now the night tells us we “belong outside, walking bleary-eyed” through vacant streets where “the monsters meet in the darkness.”

It stands with us “alone in a world of vacant cars” and calls for nothing to change “underneath these dying stars.” The night says that “in the status quo of the streetlamp’s glow” it will make a feast out of you “as the shadows do in the darkness.”

The perspective shifts to the narrator who speaks of being “torn away, by the light of day” which is “stark and methodical.” He says that nothing looks the same at night when “landmarks of my daily life glimmer with magic.”

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He addresses another character in the song, telling that person that when they get tired “there’s a mattress on the floor” and if they undress “I won’t pressure you for more.” He goes on to say that he will lay beside them “still but satisfied, counting phantom sheep as the lonely weep in the darkness.”

Fragile piano shivers in along with Brian Hazard’s gentle, pained voice as “The Darkness (Jon Panda remix)” commences. A piano carries the vulnerable, delicate melody into open space. This remix emphasizes the emotive expression of which Brian Hazard is capable as the clean and honest piano, sails by with a feathery touch.

Layered repetition of Brian Hazard’s voice moves as the piano flickers and dances before his simple, unadorned singing carries the half-tender, half-shadowed vocal melody. Lightly touching piano shimmers as the keys carry a pure melody and a fluting, vibrating sound floats out. Melancholy piano chords and a high, trembling sound bring the track to an end.

© 2022 Karl Magi

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