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I'm gonna be honest, when I listened to the first two tracks off this album I thought, "Okay, it's a new Darkest Hour album." Then Misery We Make started and I really wondered what band Sumerian mixed the CD up with. I didn't like the album the first run through. I decided to give it a second run through and noticed that other than John's vocals the band is still Darkest Hour. Travis Orbin may not be Ryan Parrish but is definitely a worthy replacement (Futurist is the one song I really felt he stuck out on). Lonestar is falling into his own as a guitarist.
One of the biggest complaints I read online concerned John's vocals. Let's be honest, after Deliver Us, this was the most logical step for the band to take to progress as artists. It's not like John has whiney vocals (listen to their Be Forewarned cover for an idea of his vocals) like many of the vocalists in screamo bands that insist on singing.
In short, if you loved Deliver Us, you'll enjoy this album. If you're one of those fans that long for the days of Mark of the Judas, this album definitely isn't for you (Eternal Return might be the last album for you guys). If you're like me and love Undoing Ruin, there's some really great songs on here and some not so great (Departures is one I really like). I don't know enough Hidden Hands or So Sedated fans to make a proper assessment so if you're curious there are tracks available on YouTube you can check out.
There are a couple of rocking songs but the soft singing is just too much. I get that they are trying new things and experimenting. m (I hope that is the case) but I don't think this experiment worked. I've loved their evolution over time and own every one of their albums, but this album is the one that puts them into the "listen first, maybe buy later" category that bands like All That Remains, AFI, KoRn, As I Lay Dying (even though they're finished), Lionheart (the hardcore band, not the hairmetal one), and even Metallica have fallen into.
I can appreciate an evolving sound like what Lamb of God have done, but this one just felt like such a vast departure that I don't think I recognize them. Even the gravely vocal style I've grown to love has changed (though you can still hear it on some of this album). I hope they are over their emo kid metalcore phase with this one and go back to the absolutely shredding and epic guitar work with aggressive and smooth vocals like were prevalent on Undoing Ruin, Deliver Us, and even the Human Romance.
Long live the metal.
There is a fair amount of clean vocals which, after a few runs through the album, I decidedly like. Quite often screamers have sub-par/whiny clean vocals which often ruin an otherwise good track. I should actually say "all too often". Darkest Hour's lead really bucks the trend and delivers excellent clean singing performance which does not take away from the darkness and harshness of melodies and crushing riffing. Most notably, the clean vocals always transition into traditional growling with catchy change-ups in beat/riffing which often define the song's mood and create a refreshing way to infuse more complexity and meaning into the music.
I must also mention that many songs on the album carry a dichotomy of melodic rock (and that's where clean vocals play a role) and balls-out death metal, which I found both curious and innovative. I don't think this is easy to pull off a still get an old time Slayer fan to headbang to all the tunes.
Overall, a very finely crafted album. I only wish Darkest Hour toured more.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My favorite album from Darkest Hour. Great instrumentals and vocals.Published 6 months ago by Collin
In my opinion, this is there best cd they have made. It flows through out the whole thing and makes sure you remember the riffs. good stuffPublished 13 months ago by cj
Waited a while to review this album as I continued to listen over and over. Darkest Hour has done it again with an excellent release!Published 18 months ago by Cody
Not my favorite album of Darkest Hour, but the more I listen to it, the more it is growing on me. Track quality is great; same goes for the digital booklet.Published 19 months ago by Michael
Great album, truly first rate. The band took everything to the next level.Published 21 months ago by Timothy Mccune