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Catchy and fun - 71%

invaded, March 15th, 2007

This is the first Darkest Hour album I picked up, and I thought it to be very enjoyable. The band seems to be gelling quite well and the songs are very well crafted.

The production here is awesome, courtesy of Devin Townsend. Everyone in the band gets a chance to shine as all the instruments are crystal clear and the vocals come on top rather nicely.

The vocals however are the only reason i haven't given this record a higher grade. They aren't terrible, but I personally prefer harsh vocals with a little more power, which is simply not the case here.

The guitars are definitely the "it" factor of the record. Kris Norris and Mike Schleibaum complement each other perfectly, fusing groovy riffs with interesting and catchy melodies. There are also a few guitar solos worthy of mention, my personal favorite being on "Sound the Surrender", where some intense swweps and string skipping are happening and the band is very tight on the time changes.

The drums also make the record quite interesting, opting to grrove out instead of using blasts or crazy fills all the time. It helps preserve the american sound the band have.

The songwriting is very cool, it shows that Devin helped them out because the arrangements are flawless on tracks such "Sound the Surrender" and "Convalescence", these two songs being my favorite on the album.

All in all a fun record to listen to, nothing groundbreaking, but very tight arrangements and good songwriting will take the cake for me anytime.