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Speed of Darkness

4.0 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

2011 album from celebrated Celtic punk ensemble Flogging Molly. Speed Of Darkness is their fifth, and arguably most important album. In the words of lead singer and songwriter Dave King, "It wasn't the album we set out to write. It became the album we had to write". Speed Of Darkness was written in Detroit, MI and takes a hardnosed look at the economic collapse in the US: the causes and the direct effect it has had on everyday people. The Motor City serves as the album's muse and one of the biggest examples of what has gone wrong. While attacking much of the greed and ignorance responsible for where we are, the album also delivers a message of hope, humanity and the resilience of mankind. Speed of Darkness features Flogging Molly's own blend of Rock, Folk, Punk, Blues and traditional Irish music with King's populist poetry.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 31, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: May 31, 2011
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Borstal Beat Records
  • Run Time: 43 minutes
  • ASIN: B004OZS03Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,870 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Peterson on June 9, 2011
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I was waiting for this album for a while, and when I listened to it the first time I was a little surprised. It's a new sound for them (for many songs). I wasn't a fan at first. During some of the songs, I actually thought I was listening to some of my old Midnight Oil music. Whether FM claims to be Irish, or we call them Irish, or whatever; that's what first attracted me to them. So, I missed it on this album. If you cling to the "punk" aspect you may find it mediocre. I mean, punk is a dime-o-dozen. I can get my punk fix anywhere.
That being said: turns out this is actually a good album. After a few listens, the songs started to grow on me. Most songs are pretty good; I even 5 starred 4 or 5 of them. (Oliver Boys, Heart of the Sea, being a couple). In my opinion, Within a Mile of Home is their best so far. It will be hard for them to beat that, and I don't think this does obviously. But, it's good, and it's Dave being Dave :).
Overall: Good, give it a few listens.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Flogging Molly's Speed of Darkness examines the plight of the blue-collar worker in the wake of the economic crisis of the early 21st century. It is a bleak time where a job is "secure in the fact that it's gone for good (The Power is Out)," and a man laments "I'm a working man without any work (Revolution)." The bleakness in the lyrics, however, is offset by an equally strong resolve to fight and refuse to give in to despair. The songs on this album are rousing and touching odes to the indomitable human spirit.

Musically, there are some of the most gorgeous songs in the Flogging Molly canon on Speed of Darkness, including "So Sail On," "The Cradle of Humankind," and "A Prayer for Me in Silence." There are also some rousing guitar-heavy rockers; the best of these songs include "Revolution," "The Power is Out," and the driving title track. The lead single, "Don't Shut 'Em Down," is quite melodic and has a smoothness not often associated with the band, but it still retains enough rough edge to be unmistakeably Flogging Molly. "The Heart of the Sea," while a good number, lacks the forward momentum of the rest of the album, making it the only (slightly) weak track.

With the subject matter and rousing musical arrangements, there will be (and already have been) comparisons to Springsteen. While it's true that Speed of Darkness could be seen as a Born in the USA for the 21st century, it is by no means derivative or a shocking departure for the band. The arrangements, while big and powerful, are not bloated. It stands up well to repeated listens, and it is a worthy successor to Flogging Molly's last studio release, Float. Speed of Darkness is the sound of determination and strength against seemingly overwhelming odds. Most highly recommended.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
I have just recently gone back to vinyl. Hearing Floggin Molly on a turntable is just awesome. It is pressed on heavy weight vinyl. I love this band and they are awesome in concert. I was at the concert at the cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. This is some of their best work ever.
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I have been a fan of Flogging Molly for some time now. The live shows as well all know are something to experience. Yet their albums are of a different nature. At first I wasn't sure I would enjoy this album. Starting off with Speed of Darkness yet as I ventured further into the album. I found myself emotional caught up in what I was hearing. It takes alot to stir me but for it to stir my soul is another thing. This album reflects the times as well as the ordeals going on in my life. It's a great album..maybe not as punk as previous albums but it is incredibly deep. With sing along choruses and the always tight musical arrangements.
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I love Flogging Molly, own all their albums, can sing most of their songs by heart, and this is probably my favorite one. It's a gritty, broken picture of Detroit (which is both the pride and bane of any Michiganian... Michigander? Not exactly sure which is the correct term for us any more). It is raw, and both painful and beautiful to listen to. The lyrics strike a chord with the general feeling of Detroit, and it's so angy and painful.

The music doesn't lose that amazing Flogging Molly sound. It feels like every amazing song wrapped into one album and you just want to scream, cheer, and cry all at once. I wish I had a more eloquent way of explaining how AMAZING this album is to me, but I can't express it in words. It just touches that wounded part of you, and you want to embrace it. You want what the lyrics and music are offering. I HIGHLY recommend this album to anyone, whether you like Flogging Molly or not. It's just brutal and poetic. Like a good, dirty fist fight on the floor of a factory.
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Those looking for a rehash of previous albums will have issues with SoD (2 or 3 star ratings). This is a great album...not their best though. The Power's Out ranks as one of the best offerings from the band. This is an evolution (not maturity), generally speaking. If you want to listen to a Swagger or Drunken Lullabies type of album, then listen to those, not SoD. There is passion here, and their ability to evolve within the context of what makes them great without compromise is evident.
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