AWmusic Spotlight: Darker Half

Meet Darker Half, a melodic metal band from Sydney, Australia. These full time rockers from up north live for metal, citing Iron Maiden, Megadeth and Nevermore as firm influences. “Heathen Ritual were a great Albury/Wodonga band, not sure if they’re still active and Netherealm was great too” adds lead vocalist Vo Simpson.

Their sound is rooted in traditional metal drawing on only the heaviest most face melting forms of steel. Twisted dual guitars and explosive solos are laid across a rock solid yet inventive rhythm section, topped off by a vocalist whose range can match any of rock’s greats, making this a band who can really set themselves apart. “I got into Metal in High School, through Metallica and immediately wanted to start a metal band” says lead vocalist Vo Simpson “so I got together with high school mates to play Metallica covers”. This passionate love for old school metal would eventually lead to multiple international tours and three albums.

Darker half’s guitar-shredding-lead-screamer,  Vo Simpson

Their debut album, Duality was released in 2009 followed by, Desensitized (2011) and Never Surrender (2014). In 2016 Never Surrender was released in Europe and was quickly followed by the EP Classified. They have shared a stage with some of Metal’s finest acts including Queensryche, Edguy, Sonata Arctica, Sabaton, Children of Bodum, Nightwish, Accept, Helloween, Stratovarius and more.

Singer/Guitarist Vo Simpson worked with Stu Marshall (Death Dealer) on his Empires Of Eden project, appearing alongside metal icons including Udo Dirkshneider, Rob Rock, Ronnie Monroe, Sean Peck and Ross the Boss. Members of Darker Half have played in the touring bands of Tim Ripper Owens and Paul Di’anno. Through all this Darker Half have established themselves as one of Australia’s premier metal acts, drawing together multiple influences to create a unique sound all their own.

These old-school-metal obsessed thrashers have performed throughout Australia and New Zealand, have toured the USA and in 2016 completed two tours of Europe, the second as special guests of German heavy metal stalwarts Rage. Commenting on their passion for playing live shows, drummer Dom Simpson says “A big part of this tour is trying to get nationally and internationally touring bands, like ourselves and In Malice’s Wake, to play more regional shows. We want to get Albury/Wodonga and Wagga Wagga back into the regular touring circuit for interstate bands.

Darker Half from Left to Right: Simon Hamilton (Bass) Vo Simpson (Lead Vocal / Guitar), Dom Simpson (Drums) and Jimmy Lardner-Brown (Guitar) Photo By

In January 2018 they once again joined Rage on their European tour, this time also featuring Firewind. With a 4th album soon to be recorded and another European tour planned for late 2018, there is plenty more to come from this hard working group. When asked what Albury/Wodonga metal fans can expect this Saturday night, vocalist Vo Simpson responded “We bring it 100% every night. Whether it’s a country town pub or a festival, we’ll pull out all the stops to make it a killer night of heavy metal”.

Catch Darker Half this Saturday night at St.Ives Hotel, Wodonga (Gateway Island). Supported by In Malice’s Wake, Hara Kiri and Dread The Winter. Tickets available at or on the door / 6:00pm – 12:00am / Strictly 18+ Event.


IDLE FRET fri oct


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