Mainly Genius

Review: The Black Atlantic – Darkling, I Listen (EP)

Those eagle-eyed amongst you will recognise The Black Atlantic as those crazy Dutch guys who gave their debut album away for free last year (review here). As good and as accomplished as it was there was a lack definition – a flowing and enjoyable entity but lacking any one (or several) songs that stood out.

This time they’re back with a more concise and frankly excellent EP, entitled Darkling, I Listen, which sees them finding a more natural footing.

This is an effort that seems to really bring out what’s best in The Black Atlantic and jumps from bounding drums, to softly sung lullabies and to some spine-tingling moments of darkness with elements not dissimilar to that of Bon Iver.

Opener The Aftermath (Of This Unfortunate Event) is a superior combination brooding vocals and stark guitars, working it’s way from folk before descending into a raw rumbling strum lifted by a delicate and careful vocals.

The expansive and shining title track is another highlight and example of the band complementing and bringing to life their real strengths. The drums rise and fall without distracting and the intertwining of strummed electric and plucked acoustic guitar, or plucked electric and strummed acoustic gives the song energy and variation.

Their confidence and ambition on An Archer, A Dancer hits a real high point and the flow of the string section is preceded by a not misplaced drum breakdown that really – and surprisingly – makes the song and gives it a great lift as the song reaches a climax.


So overall, a welcome and outstanding return from The Netherlands finest and in writing and producing Darkling, I Listen, they’ve really upped their game to another level. Ambition and drive is clear on every track in with the pressure of a second album lifted all the effort has been concentrated into five tracks of the highest quality and not watered down in eleven or twelve as might happen on an album.

Those who don’t know of The Black Atlantic will find this an excellent place to start and those who do will find a band that have flourished. A really excellent EP and well worth a few of your hard earned coppers.


Visit The Black Atlantic (where you can also get hold of Reverence For Fallen Trees)

Find them on Facebook and Twitter

Buy Darkling, I Listen from their website or Bandcamp


The Black Atlantic – An Archer, a Dancer

The Black Atlantic – The Aftermath (Of This Unfortunate Event)


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