Darkest Hour

Deliver Us

Written by: AP on 05/08/2007 19:50:15

Again, a review that should have found its way onto the list of new releases a while ago. And again, I have an excuse to cover my abstinence from writing reviews. I have Darkest Hour to thank for this excuse, for having produced yet another album that left me stunned and speechless; so much that my writing was paralyzed for weeks while recovering from the childish excitement that first surfaced in the weeks leading to the release of "Deliver Us" and later evolved into a state of mind I can find no other word for but frenzy.

Darkest Hour exists in a limbo where the concept of genre becomes void, drawing inspiration from metalcore, hardcore, thrash and melodic death metal to put together music that thrives in the kind of originality, uniquity and significance most bands can only dream of. And while "Deliver Us" may lack the urgency and intensity of "Undoing Ruin", it's packed with musicianship that sends shivers down your spine. Gone is the simplicity and in-your-face feel of the guitar play in "Undoing Ruin", replaced by a stunning display of technical proficiency that would feel foreign to fans of this band. The solos are many and fast, introducing to Darkest Hour's music an unexpected and dominating melody. In so doing they achieve more than a mere showcasing of the guitarists' skill, actually adding to the dark, apocalyptic atmosphere of the album.

John Henry can't sing, it is said, and is a vocalist undeserving of the band he fronts. In reality, he possesses one of the most personal voices in metal; a voice that reflects the attitude and messages of the band. Darkest Hour is no bringer of sunshine and kittens and makes no effort to hide its dark, unrelenting image under sugar-glazed choruses. John Henry may not have a chance in American Idol, but imagine "Demon(s)" or "Tunguska" with anything more enthusiastic than John Henry's growl-bordering clean passages and the image isn't pretty. Though disliked by a great many, John Henry's vocals are responsible for why "Deliver Us" works so well. What doesn't work so well is Ryan Parrish's drumming, which, though improved slightly from the Undoing Ruin monotone, vary little from the snare kick snare arrangement. The double pedal is overused in many songs, particularly in "Demon(s)" and "A Paradox With Flies", but songs like "Doomsayer" and "Fire in the Sky" counterbalance with excellent fills.

Rarely is an album able to emanate such atmosphere. "Deliver Us" steps down the intensity and reveals a more mature, dark and emotional Darkest Hour that oozes melody. The album is, in fact, so well executed and produced that it longs for the urgency and haste of "Undoing Ruin" on some level, as if the band were tamed. Such nostalgia is only appropriate, however, when the previous album has risen to a near-cult status and is widely regarded as a classic release and one of the most important metal albums of today. "Deliver Us" doesn't quite live up to "Undoing Ruin", but is sure to become the where to start with album of Darkest Hour. It's prettier and more accessible though the raw brutality of the musical delivery hasn't been shaved off in favor of it. Once again, Darkest Hour delivers an unparalleled musical experience.


Download: Doomsayer, Tunguska, Demon(s), Stand And Receive Your Judgement

For the fans of: As I Lay Dying, Himsa, Misery Signals

Listen: Myspace

Release date 10.07.2007


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