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The only straight-forward metal album by them - 81%

TheSunOfNothing, May 13th, 2009

All of Darkest Hour's past or future releases are more in the metalcore vein, with "Deliver Us" adopting somewhat of a progressive metal sound (compared to the others, at least). This is, however, completly different. Here Darkest Hour play a mixture of melodic death metal and thrash metal, leaving out most of the hardcore influence (it's still here, but to a lesser extent than the rest).

One noticeable factor is the use of the melo-death trademark riff, which was originally used by bands like In Flames to make their sound more "epic", as heard on In Flames's fourth album, "Colony". The american varient of the riff came about when At The Gates (ironically, not an American band) stripped the trademark riff of it's "epic" sound and instead made it sadder and at times, angrier. I think this was kind of a good idea, as the sound of those riffs is one of my many addictions (at times), but when millions of bands ripped the trademark off it got fucking annoying, and is a negative factor for any deathcore/metalcore band nowadays (Fortunatly, the use of the riff is dying, being replaced by one note breakdowns. No comment.)

Here, Darkest Hour use the american varient of the riff in a few songs, such as "the Patriot Virus", but in other songs, like "Oklahoma" and "the Sadist Nation", it sounds like the band actually knew what they were doing, it's real melodic death metal, just take out the cheesy riffs and add just a smidge of black metal every now and then.

As for the sound, all the songs are top-notch in awesomeness, exept it does get annoying because the songs REALLY drag on. Sometimes, it's needed, such as in "The Sadist Nation" and "Oklahoma", other though, such as "Marching To The Killing Rhythm" drag on for an unreasonably long time for no reason at all. It's fairly easy to tell the songs apart, though, and the only factor that gets annoying and really matters is the vocals.

The vocalist is the only member who allows the band to keep the hardcore sound, and his vocals really don't fit. He's not a bad vocalist really, it's just, he only ever does one vocal style and it doesn't really go with the rest of the music. He's the only member who isn't trying really hard here, and you'll notice, easily. His voice, while unique, is simply put, boring to listen to when he's singing as fast as he is (which is really fast) and he's never changing pitch or anything. Unfortunatly, the band changed their sound to fit him rather than him change his sound to fit the band on later records (although thankfully he sounds way less strained and isn't this monotonous on their later albums, particularly "Deliver Us", which is also a really good album).

I honestly can't pick out a single good song. I really like "the Sadist Nation" and "Seven Day Lie", and "the Patriot Virus" is a pretty good listen as well, but I suppose the best on the album is the fucking STELLAR album closer, "Veritus, Aequitas". It's a very emotional melodic death metal song, and includes piano, acoustic guitar, and some really well written riffs. This song is a work of art.

All in all, this is an extremly good purchase. The sound is, in short, basically thrash metal mixed with melodic death metal and some black metal here and there as well as some hardcore undertones (mostly due to the vocals). If you can ignore the hardcore and see what this album is inside, you'll really enjoy this, and then some.