How Did We Get So Dark?
Royal Blood - How Did We Get So Dark?
Critic Score
Based on 12 reviews
2017 Rank: #457 / 628
User Score
Based on 89 ratings
Your Review


Northern Transmissions

Few albums manage to feel as consistently single-laden as How Did We Get So Dark? and fewer manage to do it with such a consistent sound to them. Royal Blood pushes themselves unbelievably hard on this amazing record to make sure they’re not just known as a cool breakout band.


Here on second album ‘How Did We Get So Dark?’, we welcome another 40 minutes of Royal Blood exploring their home turf on 10 shamelessly melodic rock monsters that hit home like a nail gun to the eardrum.


‘How Did We Get So Dark?’ is one hell of a beast; but while their first outing had as much subtlety as a whack around the face, this time they’ve born a more considered - but sinister - creature.

Here, they not only sound brawny but nimble, navigating twists in their riffs and rhythms without a hitch and without flash.

'How Did We Get So Dark?' is unlikely to win over critics who prefer their licks raw and vocals scratchy. There's nothing Real with a capital 'R' here, it's a record intended for garnering groupies, not scathingly disassembling modern life. 


How Did We Get So Dark? has plenty of appeal, possibly just edging the debut, and is the sound of a band enjoying their niche, but how long that can last has to be the concern here.

No Ripcord

It lacks the same amount of truly great songs their debut offered. Still, there are few bands that can match Royal Blood at their heavy, melodic best, and How Did We Get So Dark? proves to be a thrilling - if limited - listen from one of the UK’s fastest-rising rock bands.


It sees the band move forward from, and in many ways improve upon, what they were already good at, with a few – mostly worthwhile – new ideas thrown in for good measure. On the other hand, what evolution we do get is minimal and not quite enough to fully justify the less anthemic tone of the album.

Drowned in Sound

How Did We Get So Dark? is a big, grown-up rock album with all the riffs and compositional disappearing down rabbit holes we've come to yearn for from Royal Blood, but there are several songs here that are also primed for radio.


Despite how thunderous Thatcher sounds behind the drums or how dirty Kerr's bass tone is, unfortunately there isn't a pedal for more robust and compelling songwriting. That said, you'll probably be headbanging too much to care.

The Independent

Royal Blood’s energies here are expended not on expansive outreach but intensive simplicity: any added layers simply buttress the basic riffs of tracks.

The Guardian

The duo hurl everything at them – harmonies, killer bass sounds, presumably the studio’s kitchen sink – but the tunes aren’t nearly as strong as, say, the first album’s Ten Tonne Skeleton.

Jun 19, 2017
No doubt Royal Blood's "How Did We Get So Dark?" contains energy. Every song features some kind of blistering, bass-led riff and pounding drums. Unfortunately, after two songs, those riffs quickly dull. One listen reveals the album; a second listen reveals that there's nothing else there.

If you like this record or are searching for a similar sound, I recommend checking out '68's newest album "Two Parts Viper." Even though '68's record has several faults, it provides a ... read more
Jun 16, 2017
This sounds exactly the same as their debut (which I liked a lot) but with worse songwriting.
Nov 14, 2017
Easily the biggest letdown here is the band’s clear decision to rest on their laurels and not make much of an effort to do anything new. Of course, since the first album was good, there is still some enjoyment to gain from an album that is essentially the same, but by the thousandth identical tinny riff from Kerr’s bass, it becomes tiring.

So let’s hope that next time we hear from Royal Blood they are able to redeem themselves but for now they have delivered one of the most ... read more
Oct 20, 2017
How Did We Get So Dark? - 75
Lights Out - 74
I Only Lie When I Love You - 73
She's Creeping - 78
Look Like You Know - 77
Where Are You Now? - 68
Don't Tell - 52
Hook, Line & Sinker - 69
Hole In Your Heart - 78
Sleep - 68
Oct 1, 2017
Still have that rocking edge but no new spark to ignite it...
#38/Rough Trade
Track List
  1. How Did We Get So Dark?
  2. Lights Out
  3. I Only Lie When I Love You
  4. She's Creeping
  5. Look Like You Know
  6. Where Are You Now?
  7. Don't Tell
  8. Hook, Line & Sinker
  9. Hole in Your Heart
  10. Sleep

Added on: April 11, 2017