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The Eternal Return

4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

To close off the decade in style, DARKEST HOUR has crafted a recordthat will make heads spin and inspire metal fans world-wide. Faster, heavier, and deeper than anythingthey have ever recorded, The Eternal Return is the defining record of this proud American metalinstitution. The Eternal Return is epic and furious metal written by metal-heads for metal-heads. Quitesimply, this is a record created by musicians who have dedicated half their lives to aggressive andunrelenting music. The Eternal Return is the reinvention of the finest elements of DARKESTHOUR'S celebrated history, making it the absolute modern thrash metal masterpiece.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 23, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: June 23, 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Victory
  • Run Time: 30 minutes
  • ASIN: B0028ERBZ8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,918 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
For their sixth full-length album, Washington, D.C.-based melodic death metal/metalcore quintet Darkest Hour opted for a surprisingly simplistic style of songwriting. But that certainly and in no way means that it is not enjoyable. Indeed, "Eternal Return" does have more than its fair share of really enjoyable, horns-raising, and infectiously memorable moments and attributes. It has so many of them, in fact, that it becomes quite easy to overlook the fact that Darkest Hour clearly opted for a more basic, routine, and paint-by-the-numbers approach to writing these ten cuts. (All of the songs follow the same pattern: Beginning on a heavy and hard-hitting note with mean, disharmonic vocal snarls, and deft, slamming drums before eventually segueing into more restrained territory with hooky, concert-ready choruses, and finally climaxing with a really great, soaring guitar solo.)

Most bands cannot get away with such shockingly simplistic structuring, but this one can. The key ingredient is, without a doubt, the songs' final part: The solo. Mike Schleibaum has clearly spent his downtime rehearsing his soloing skills, and it has more-than-paid off. Here, he uncorks multiple solo runs that stand heads-and-shoulders above anything else he's ever done. And they are some of the best solos that any metalhead is likely to hear all-year (2009) long. They are always exceptionally lengthy, and tremendously ripping, wailing, technical, harmonic, soaring, and infectious. They are very worthy of vintage melodeath (i.e. think classic In Flames, Children Of Bodom, etc.), and they practically scream for the listener to play along with them on air-guitar. Each and every solo is worth rewinding and enjoying all over again, too. They are so great that they are almost deserving of their own review.
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Format: Audio CD
Don't believe all the talk that Darkest Hour sucks since they lost their "shredder" Kris Norris. On their latest record, these D.C. metallers have taken their fast, heavy, and scary sound........and made it faster, heavier, and scarier.

Though it doesn't quite match up to their 2005 masterpiece Undoing Ruin, it's a step in the right direction after 2007's so-so effort Deliver Us. Check out one of the album's stand-out tracks like "The Tides" and you know will know what I am talking about.

To put it plainly, this is a band based around riffs, not leads, and The Eternal Return proves that, acting as a modern nod to old-school thrash, without sounding old, tired, or cliche.
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This is my first Album review on Amazon, and I have to admit that my motivations for writing it were found in the guitar riffs of Darkest Hour's new song, "Black Sun," on this very album. Pure metal bliss! I could not help but heap praise on the album after hearing that segment!

I have only given the album a cursory play through, half expecting a regression of the band from a supposed peak they reached with their last album Deliver Us. Luckily my fears were not realized! Darkest hour has produced another album that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end and will sock you with its fast tempos and genius songwriting.

There is some recycled material, and you may find yourself thinking, "hey, haven't I heard this song before," but Darkest Hour actually manages to take each song to different levels. They show that they do not have a limited number of permutations for their songs, and they throw in enough new techniques to make this an actual progression from their previous album.

To all American Metal Bands: you can keep your style and sound and come up with new material. No need to "experiment" with more mainstream sounds; Darkest Hour just proved that with this new release. I highly recommend this album!
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Format: Audio CD
That's a pretty bold statement right there, but then again Darkest Hour have done nothing but prove it over and over again for about the last decade.

"The Eternal Return," the sixth full length record for the band, is indeed one that's not going to immediately hit with fans. After all, these guys are coming off the heels of two amazing albums in "Deliver Us" and "Undoing Ruin" (and to a lesser degree the three which preceded them, most notably "The Mark Of Judas"). It's not going to take the title of "best album" away from any of the previously mentioned records, so it's important to not waste time comparing it to them. But what "The Eternal Return" does do, is solidly cement Darkest Hour as one of the most reliable and otherwise outstanding bands of their respected genre. How many other metal bands can say they've put out 6 records in a row that were all great? Not many (if really any that I can immediately remember).

Although Kris Norris is gone, its rather untrue to argue that his replacement isn't sufficient. In fact, though Kris may have had a distinct, melodic edge to his playing (particularly his solos), Mike Carrigan more than does the job of filling his rather large shoes. "Death Worship" and "Bitter" both rip with ferociously heavy, metallic riffs and show these guys haven't lost a bit of their gas at this point. "No God" recalls similar feelings as larger singles the band produced like "Demons" and "Convalescence" (minus the clean singing), but still knows how to keep things heavy. There really is not a single moment for the listener to stop and catch their breath throughout the disc's run, as even the more "epic sounding" tracks like "The Tides" and "Into The Grey" are still overtly pummeling.
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