How Did We Get So Dark?

Royal Blood - How Did We Get So Dark?
Critic Score
Based on 20 reviews
2017 Ratings: #554 / 887
User Score
Based on 336 ratings
2017 Ratings: #468
Liked by 4 people
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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.

While the writing is something to be desired, Royal Blood provide yet another solid record in their ever growing hard rock, fun as hell, catchy and all in all great discography.

Favorite jams: How Did We Get So Dark, Hook, Line & Sinker, Where Are You Know?

Lest Favorite: Don't Tell

EDIT: There was a moment in time where I didn't know what Lightning Bolt or Death from Above was. This is the effect of not knowing those things.
A really solid followup to their self titled album, and one of my favorites from 2017, even if it doesn’t quite live up to the quality of the classic that was their first album.

Fav Tracks: Sleep, Lights Out, Hook Line And Sinker, She's Creeping, Hole In Your Heart

Least Favorite Tracks: Look Like You Know
Very good sequel to their debut LP ! You'll love that heavy bass sound that makes Royal Blood so special.
royal blood brings a sequel to their self titled lp but with a less intense approach. this time around they really focuses on having more catchy rhythm and riffs with more of a lyrical approach as well. only problem with this is that you tend to loose interest or focus in the songs and you’re not as hooked in.

fav track: lights out, she’s creeping, hook line & skinner, hole in your heart, sleep

least fav track: don’t tell
Royal Blood takes what they did from their debut and adds a little more flair with the addition of choirs and keyboards on top of their usual stripped-down bass and drum setup.

Whilst they did manage to replicate what made their debut so hard-hitting and riffable (HDWGSD, Hook Line and Sinker), the cost of having some level of unnecessary variety as some of the attempts at branching out just sound kinda corny to an unintentionally comedic degree from weird vocal choices to cow-bells and wacky ... read more
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Added on: April 11, 2017