Although Darkest Hour are technically considered a metalcore band, it's an insult to metal to write these guys off as "just another Killswitch." In fact, Undoing Ruin, the band's fourth long-playing, is packed with melody and overflowing with slashing riffage uncharacteristic of the metalcore genre. To me, Darkest Hour more closely resembles melo-death than anything else. All labels aside, though, Undoing Ruin is, in a word, POTENT.
From the eerie fade-in at the beginning of "With a Thousand Words to Say But One" to the identical fade-out at the end of "Tranquil" (which, by the way, makes Undoing Ruin seem endless if you spin it on loop), you're in for a battering that'd make wolves howl and feral dogs cry. "With a Thousand Words" is a tenacious opener with beautiful lyrics, and a clear early standout. Following is "Convalescence," a melodic pounder that will end up stuck in your head. The intro of the next track, "This Will Outlive Us," channels the chaos of a runaway train; it's up for debate whether or not the main riff has teeth, but I can assure you that it bites.
Coming in fourth is "Sound the Surrender," a live staple that contains the most melodic verse riff on the album. This galloper only requires a few listens to end up permanently etched in the listener's brain. Just when the aggressiveness of Undoing Ruin threatens to weigh on its audience the relaxing acoustic instrumental "Pathos" very appropriately calms everything down, setting the stage for the brutal intensity of "Low." Following the onslaught of that middle track is "Ethos," another soothing instrumental (but this time utilizing electric guitars).
The final four-track stretch of Undoing Ruin might be the most devastating section of the album. "District Divided" once again threatens to fly off the tracks, and "These Fevered Times" is a melodic little stick of dynamite with excellent lyrics and a hurricane of a riff 1:23 into the song. Despite being one of my favorite songs on the album, "These Fevered Times" faces stiff competition from its successor "Paradise." A throbbing bass line and another set of emotive lyrics makes this track another easy favorite.
While "Paradise" gives the indication it might close the album, "Tranquil" has other ideas. This nightmare's main riff sounds like it was composed in Hell and its lyrics by a dying man. "Tranquil" also features the best solo on the record at 1:47. As mentioned before, this song ends Undoing Ruin just as it began, solidifying the concept experience.
In addition to all the beastly riffs on Undoing Ruin, the bass, while a little hard to hear behind the guitars, is also great, and the drumming is surprisingly intricate. For me, though, John Henry's consistently exceptional lyrics are the high point throughout. The man just has a way with words. So forget the labels, forget what you've heard about the band being a Killswitch knockoff (they're not)- Undoing Ruin is fast, melodic, untarnished metal from front to back, and it may just be the most fervent 37 minutes of your life.
Ok, so I just bought this album and I can't explain the absolute bewilderment that an album could be this good. Darkest Hour's first EP was an introduction leading to the epic "The Mark Of The Judas", which in my opinion is very similar to this CD in its energy and power. Next came So Sedated, So Secure, an excellent follow up to TMOTJ, and next in my opinion their worst album Hidden Hands Of A Sadist Nation. After reading the other reviews on this website I was suprised to see how many people thought that HHOASN is Darkest Hour's best CD... Personally, I think it has very little melodic thought and musicality other than Veritas, Aequitas.
Anways... getting back to the subject matter of this CD. Every song on this CD other than district divided seems to have a unique quality unparalled by any other Darkest Hour CD. With the great suspension part in With A Thousand Words To Say But One, and the crazy fast solo in Sound The Surrender, Darkest Hour really shows that this is the metal album of the decade.
Here's my breakdown of the songs..
1. With A Thousand Words To Say But One - 10/10 (Great chorus and harmony with the most suspensful part in the entire CD)
2. Convalescence - 9/10 (Cool solo, but after listening to it enough times it just gets old)
3. This Will Outlive Us - 7/10 (Eh, almost random solo that doesn't have a true flow and nothing else to really make it better)
4. Sound The Surrender - 10/10 (Best... Solo... Ever...)
5. Pathos - 9/10 (Great break from the constant hard metal)
6. Low - 8/10 (Not really pronounced and mediocre lyrics compared to other songs)
7. Ethos - 7/10 (To tell you the truth, I had no idea this song was on the cd the first couple times, I thought it was part of Low)
8. District Divided - 6/10 (Worst Song on the album, no unique features or solos, very boring)
9. These Fevered Times - 10/10 (Amazing solo, great chorus, all around spectacular song that gets stuck in your head)
10. Paradise - 10/10 (Gloomy lyrics, no pun intended, but amazing nonetheless)
11. Tranquil - 10/10 (This finishes off the triple hit of songs to make the end of this CD amazing.)
A lot of people catagorize Darkest Hour under the term metalcore, but to me their just too good to be called metalcore, in fact they're not even metalcore, they're just metal. Their new album "Undoing Ruin" was my first Darkest Hour album I ever bought, and I really like it. Produced by Strapping Young Lad mastermind Devin Townsend, this album is an all out vicious, slamming, pulse pounding, headbanging ,devil horn raising assault to your senses. I really like the Swedish death influences on here which are present in any DH album. John Henry's vocals are just vicious beyond words, Kris Norris and Mike Schleibaum are awesome guitarists, plenty of great riffs and solos as well. Paul Burnette's bass lines are brutal and heavy, and Ryan Parrish's drumming is just fast and sick, it just hits you like a ton of bricks.
1. With A Thousand Words To Say But One - A great opening track. 5/5
2. Convalescence - One of my favorites. Has some nice double bass and a killer guitar solo. 5/5
3. This Will Outlive Us - Starts off with some fast drums and a wailing solo. Has a bad ass guitar and bass riff that remind me alot of the Jaws theme around the 2:40 mark that just gets stuck in your head. This song would actually make a great background song for a shark attack scene, great song BTW. 5/5
4. Sound The Surrender - Another one of my favorites. Starts off with more slamming drums and rapid firing riffs. Has another good solo. 5/5
5. Pathos - Nice little instrumental - 5/5
6. Low - 5/5
7. Ethos - Another nice instrumental - 5/5
8. District Divided - 5/5
9. These Fevered Times - My favorite song on here. Ryan's drums just hit you like a ton of bricks throughout. John's screams are very sick on here too. 5/5
10. Paradise - Has some more sick double bass drumming for all you drum freaks out there. 5/5
11. Tranquil - Great album closer. Another one of my favorites. 5/5
Overall Grade: 100/100
A hard earned A+
Call'em metal, metalcore, call'em whatever you want. To me, Darkest Hour ARE just metal. If you think Atreyu is heavy, prepare to have your ass kicked here. If you want a certain metal album that you can bang your head to, and get that adrenaling going, "Undoing Ruin" is yours. Buy it now. Darkest Hour rules.