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I've noticed two recent trends in death metal. The first being deathcore, which I find, to some degree, very enjoyable. The second being the storm of criticism from "true" death metal fans on this genre. I enjoy the originality in some of the bands, namely Suicide Silence, Arsonists Get All the Girls, and Veil of Maya, while others I agree with the criticism (Job for a Cowboy is overrated and just not that good). This brings me to Darkest Hour, one of the few -core bands that cannot be cracked on. Their riffs are original and not ripped from At the Gates's masterpiece, Slaughter of the Soul, and to even note their originality they collaborated with Tomas Lindberg on occassion.
I picked up Undoing Ruin during a period of time which I was in a brief metalcore phase in 2005. I was just getting into death metal at the time, having been introduced to Cryptopsy's None So Vile, and I was eager to explore. Darkest Hour blended all that I was liking at the time with what I was exploring. I personally am not guitarist, though I greatly appreciate the talent behind using the axe, and I fell in love with riffs on Undoing Ruin. Every song flows with torrentially elegant riffs that are catchy and original. John Henry's vocals can be irritating to some, but they fit here. Not too growly or screechy and with such a light touch of his normal voice that it does not breach on pure hardcore homosexuality, they are perfect for this album. The drums I find generic but precise and fitting. The bass finds itself well with the sweeping guitars. Overall just a very solid album.
Three years later and I'm essentially a death metal affecionado, and though some might find my liking for this album blasphemy, I still listen to it a few times a week. Anything that has any -core influence should not be denounced for simply that label. Fuck labels! Enjoy the music without dissecting it. If you're a fan of good wholesome melodic death metal then I highly recommend Darkest Hour's Undoing Ruin.