The long, winding road that has been the career of The Rasmus has seen them achieve incredible feats of success in their time as a band. Album sales in the millions, worldwide tours and two decades plus of experience – The Rasmus are an outfit that have plenty of backbone and knowledge lying within their florescent tones; and it often shows.
New record Dark Matters lives up to its namesake, it’s an experience of sonic twists and turns – with an added hint of disparaging tales that do anything but keep your mind at ease. It’s very much The Rasmus as you would expect to find them at this point in their careers – still pushing forwards and keeping the experiments ticking, but not quite approaching another explosion in popularity.
It’s synth-ridden sounds have a sinister zest about them which does manage to keep Dark Matters interesting listen throughout certain portions of its length, but The Rasmus don’t get anywhere close to writing an opus like ‘In The Shadows’; one of the songs that shot their starlight so high.
‘Paradise’ and ‘Black Days’ are anchored well by the dexterous vocal style of Lauri Ylonen and hold a thick, tight grasped chorus within them that keep the tracks flowing. While ‘Wonderman’ is the closest song on the album that could be looked at with a rock and roll vibe – with a pulsing, bass lead backdrop leading to a climactic chorus.
Sadly though there is a lot of Dark Matters which sits along a minefield of predictability, and there’s little here that encapsulates everything that The Rasmus have that their disposal. ‘Something In The Dark’ is lackluster songwriting at best, and ‘Crystalline’ seems equally void of ideas, with patterns that rarely stretch further than adequate.
Two decades into their career, it’s abundantly clear that by this point, The Rasmus are here for enjoyment as much as anything else, which is both commendable and charming. However Dark Matters is an album that will do very little to affect the band’s popularity, if there is a perfect balance to be found between good, and poor – this record would be standing there comfortably.