Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

The problem lies in the core - 79%

PorcupineOfDoom, February 1st, 2015

I'm not a fan of metalcore, as you'll probably be aware if you've ever read another of my reviews. Basically it just sounds like shit to me. A couple bands manage to somehow avoid becoming a part of that though, namely Karkaos and to some extent Lamb of God, but for the most part I could never understand the enjoyment to be found within metalcore. And that's where Darkest Hour come in, because they're actually pretty good despite all of the typical metalcore flaws.

Yeah, even a decently enjoyable metalcore/melodeath hybrid like this one has sucky things about it. Take the vocals, for example. Who can listen to a guy screaming like that for the entirety of an album? It really detracts from the good stuff when you have to put up with that awful noise. And then there's the fact that the whole thing is just a little watery and never gives the listener the impression of power that they're trying to give. I'd prefer it if they hid the gaps in the guitar riffs just that little bit more and put some extra force into the guitars, possibly by not jumping all over the place when it really isn't necessary.

That being said, Darkest Hour do those things a lot better than so many other mediocre metalcore bands. Like Karkaos there's a clear melodeath-based approach to the music, with stronger sounds coming from the guitars and generally more force behind the music, but Darkest Hour seem to be more metalcore based than their Canadian counterparts. As a direct result of this the music isn't as enjoyable and ever member of the band just seems to be that step lower than Karkaos's musicians. The vocals are one screaming tone the whole way through, not varied from growls to gritty cleans to singing like you'd get from Veronica Rodriguez. The guitars, while admittedly the best part and more often than not rather interesting, never create anything as unique and inspiring as the guys in Karkaos. The drumming here is okay, but nowhere near the technical standard that the other band sets. Even the fact that there isn't a keyboardist here swings the balance in favour of the Canadians. Yeah, I'm pretty biased in favour of Karkaos, but they're the better band.

Something that really puts me off here is the way that Darkest Hour start every song. Seriously, every single one starts with high-speed drum bashing followed up with metalcore screams and fast guitars playing what sounds relatively complex but not very interesting. It gets unoriginal very quickly and to be honest I would have been happier if they'd never done that at all. The chorus always seems to be pretty epic with blazing guitars and some really captivating hooks, which is what I'd like to hear throughout rather than the boring repetition that goes on through the verses.

It might sound like I'm having a go at the band as well as the actual genre of metalcore, but Undoing Ruin is an enjoyable album. Not without its flaws, but the melodic death influences throughout are very good and I just wish that they'd throw away the core that is clearly holding the band back.