Other Son - The Darkness in Devotion (drops 12/21/18)
My editor Michael hit me up recently, saying he had a band reach out to him for an album review and it sounded “right up [my] alley.” Obviously, I was all aboard! He sent over the debut album “The Darkness in Devotion” by alt-rock duo Other Son. I gave the album a full listen through before I even opened a word processor, and I found myself continuously saying things like “oh okay!” and “oh yea!” and then eventually “oh hell yea!” These boys rock! I read through their website and browsed their various social medias to get a feel for them as musicians. Other Son is comprised of Bretterson “Brett” Allen Morgan as lyricist/vocalist, and Ian Hayes as songwriter/instrumentalist. The two have been friends since their high school days in the great state of (Cleveland) Ohio, but the band has since found its roots in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Hayes began writing instrumentals for “The Darkness in Devotion” in February of this year, in Colorado. According to him, he sent demos to Morgan, still located in Ohio at the time, until Morgan found inspiration for lyrics and vocals. Apparently, the songs were mostly unchanged form those initial traded demo forms, which gives them a raw feeling, as they were birthed of gut instinct rather than out of necessity
to just put music out.
If I had to compare Other Son to any well-known acts, I’d say they have the story telling lyrics and rock-opera guitar vibes of Coheed and Cambria, mixed with the dark and explicit lyrical content of Avenged Sevenfold or Framing Hanley. The lyrics are raw and realistic, angry and unforgiving, yet still melodic. Morgan has an absolutely beautiful voice, and he imbues every vocal with emotion. Hayes’ guitar skills are unmatched, in my opinion; every riff feels new in a world of up-cycled chord progressions. The melodies he picks out are ear catching without drawing attention away from the beautiful vocals. With every listen-through while I write this, I find it increasingly unbelievable that this album was written, recorded, and will be released all within a year. The craftsmanship is unbelievable all the way through, from the incredible guitar playing to the simple and instinctual lyrics. I keep finding myself stopping just to nod along to many of the songs, especially the song “I Loved You Once,” and daydreaming about what it might sound like live, which I hope I get to experience! The album is hit after rocking hit, and wraps up with the sickly sweet and eponymously named acoustic number “The Other Son,” which I absolutely adored. All in all, the boys show an incredible range of skills and a mastery of their craft.
The singles “Playhouse” and “Get To You” are already available to buy on Other Son’s website as well as streaming on their Spotify, and have accompanying videos on their Youtube channel. “The Darkness in Devotion” is set to be released in full on December 21st, 2018, and it would be a mistake to not give it a listen. The boys hope to expand their reach and maybe their ranks in the future, and I’m waiting patiently with bells on for a tour (hint hint, Other Son, if you’re reading this, come to Ohio and play me your songs). Happy listening!