New Years Day - Half Black Heart

New Years Day – Half Black Heart (Album Review)

New Years Day band 2024

With a history that dates back nearly two decades, New Years Day has been a band that has successfully found a place within the modern Hard Rock world. Progressing over time, some may recall their early days which certainly had more a Pop Punk flair; as heard with early materials such as their 2007 debut album My Dear. However, that soon gave way to a heavier, darker sound by the time 2013’s Victim to Villain emerged, and only intensified with 2015’s Malevolence and 2019’s Unbreakable.

A product of leading lady Ash Costello’s personal growth as a primary creative force behind New Years Day, each record put out seems more personal than the other. This in mind, Costello, along with her band consisting Nikki Misery (lead guitar), Jeremy Valentyne (guitar), Brandon Wolfe (bass), and Trixx (drums), dig deeply yet again with the new album Half Black Heart.

New Years Day’s fifth overall studio album, Half Black Heart, arriving on March 1, 2024 through Century Media Records, including a list of tracks that arrived between 2022 and the start of 2024. Among these you have the 2022 single “Hurts Like Hell,” 2023’s “Vampyre” and “Secrets,” before 2024’s “I Still Believe” as well as “Half Black Heart.” Accounting for nearly half of the twelve tracks that make up the new album, in all, the mood is consistent throughout.

An album that follows a similar trajectory as Unbreakable, but perhaps even heavier, Half Black Heart is full of machine-like Industrial guitar tones, anthemic choruses, and intense vocal performances from Costello. Very much feeling like one diary entry after another, the theme of each song follows the notion that we must find strength from within, not let others dictate who we are, and in the process overcome our own inequities. That in mind, there is a sense of humility here to own our own shortcomings, inability to let go of toxic relationships, but still fight to come out of it all smarter and stronger.

Giving off a vibe of self-empowerment, the tone of these songs is a cathartic release of anger, frustration, but also fortitude. Something that can inspire within your own personal battles, much of the album fills fitting for a workout session or listening to at higher volumes while driving. As mentioned, quite even, a few songs that stick out among the collection would have to include “Vampyre,” “Half Black Heart,” “Bulletproof,” and “So Sick.” Just some of the highlights, again, listening to the record in full is not a waste of time or lack of interest because of the fiery energy output.

All matters considered; New Years Days have put together a solid album in Half Black Heart that is representative of who they are. Who are they exactly? A modern Metal act with a sound that mixes Alternative Metal, Industrial Metal, and darker elements that melt together into one. With that, they have successfully solidified themselves at this point that when one of their songs pops on you know exactly who it is. A difficult achievement in the oversaturated world of heavy music, Cryptic Rock commend the raw passion put into Half Black Heart, giving it 4 out of 5 stars.

New Years Day - Half Black Heart
New Years Day – Half Black Heart / Century Media Records (2024)

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1 Comment

  • It’s a shame their first album cannot even be named bu the author of this review. While My Dear certainly isn’t the dark, heavy, modern metal sound, it shouldn’t be relegated to some Harry Potter villian status.
    It would be nice to hear a song or two from their debut played live as a reminder that the world isn’t 100% pain and sorrow.
    I missed much of their 2 decades, just discovering them when they opened for In This Moment and Halestorm in 2018. I quickly made up for lost time and binge listened to their catalog on YouTube and bought the boxed set that came out that year (maybe early 2019). They’ve been a consistent part of muisic rotation ever since. I’ve been on the Half Black Heart pre-order list since early December and look forward to spinning the new album on my turntable when it arrives.
    If the message of New Years Day is growth, self acceptance and overcoming lifes hurdles; that same spirit should apply to a bands artistic evolution and not cast a sense of unspoken shame toward the music of their power pop phase.

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