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Darkest Hour Undoing Ruin

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01. With A Thousand Words To Say But One 02. Convalescence 03. This Will Outlive Us 04. Sound The Surrender 05. Pathos 06. Low 07. Etho 08. District Divided 09. These Fevered Times 10. Paradise 11. Tranquil
2005 Victory Records
Our score 8

by Michael Gluck
6/27/2005

If you count The Misanthrope and The Prophecy Fulfilled, Undoing Ruin is Virginia-based Darkest Hour's sixth album. And while both have their moments with a handful ofmemorable, albeit basic songs, their two earliest albums are justly considered light years behind the niche they found (or began properly plagiarizing) on their 2000 classic thrash piece-de-resistance Mark Of The Judas; considered by many to be their proper debut. Their newest, Undoing Ruin, shares a number of elements in common with that album, and since it is largely considered a flawless album, the commonalities are beneficial. Track five, "Pathos," is an acoustic interlude, harking back to the one on Judas. This adds a nice pause in the furious emotion present in the preceding songs, preparing the listener for more metal ahead, provided the listener listens to the album from start to finish as it is best advised. Undoing Ruin also shares in common with Judas the lesson in European metal riffs which seemed to have begun eluding the band on their last two albums, as they meandered more into the territory of either pure speed or drawn-out textures rather than straight-forward melodic picking which has thankfully returned. This is attributed to the settling-in of Kris Norris, guitar wiz-kid who also wrote and fronted Locus Factor, a band very similar to Darkest Hour although less emotional but more classical metal guitar-oriented. Every Darkest Hour fan should own their album Between Saviors And Thieves; I would even go so far as to call it a partial Darkest Hour album in its own right. The solos in "Sound The Surrender" and "These Fevered Times" (which break open the scales in ways never heard from Darkest Hour) is most visibly Norris' influence as a songwriter, even though he was credited as a member on 2003's Hidden Hands Of A Sadist Nation, but not nearly as confident a guitarist then as he is today. He probably has the years of being a component in the Darkest Hour touring machine to thank for that. Norris' addition to the band also seems to have spurred on founding guitarist Mike Schleibaum to think back to his older material for reference on Undoing Ruin, as the guitar quality has truly been stepped up for this album. Sadly, Swedish uber-producer Frederik Nordstrom did not give Darkest Hour the production job that Victory's double-digit investment tried to buy on Hidden Hands..., and along with the sometimes choppy songwriting, resigned the album to the bottom of many fans' favorite lists. And ironically, while the man who has literally mastered the art of over-the-top heavy metal, Devin Townsend, practically ruined certain albums with his muddy production, he's stepped up to the plate here. He's given Darkest Hour their best studio sound since Judas, taking a simple approach by bringing the guitars front and most noticeably, giving Ryan Parrish the bare-bones drum sound he has always benefited from and which he didn't get on Hidden Hands. Darkest Hour is an extremely hard working band, with five albums released in seven years and seemingly endless touring. Dreams of rock stardom and indulgences in debilitating substances have drastically diminished the quality of numerous hardcore metal bands over the years. There are a myriad of bands whose skill and songwriting ability became either gradually or suddenly undermined by a contagious "desire to evolve." It's refreshing that Darkest Hour have changed little in their formula over the years, a gift wrongly interpreted by critics as a curse who accuse the band of each song sounding the same. What once sounded virtually uniform, the harsh vocals of John Henry, now incorporate a bit of low-note singing as on "Convalescence" and "Paradise"; but for the most part, he is the Henry of old. The lyrics this time around are less politically reactionary as on Hidden Hands and more rooted in personal experience, a characteristic likely to increase their appeal. Bottom Line: It is widely known that this is slated to be and thus will be Darkest Hour's defining album for the thousands of new fans who are about to discover them. Luckily for their loyalists, they can remain on board as well, as the band rises to underground stardom and eventually even higher, because what little tweaks they have brought in (like the use of keys in "Sound The Surrender"'s epic chorus, or Kris Norris' classical metal soloing throughout the album) merely add to their sound rather than define it. Six albums in, if you were a fan of Darkest Hour then, you're still a Darkest Hour fan.

52 comments

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TRAILER_ 6/24/2005 7:51:26 PM

The follow up to the ECard trailer is up on Victory now, with a new song.


Coley Thrash_ 6/27/2005 6:20:24 PM

f*ckING. AMAZING. PERIOD.


captnigga_ 6/27/2005 6:38:12 PM

pure garbage compared to hidden hands


JacSafly_ 6/27/2005 6:38:25 PM

^^^^^


ronald mcdonald_ 6/27/2005 6:39:47 PM

this album is much better than sadist nation by far


thegoddamnawesome_ 6/27/2005 7:15:41 PM

i like this record. the review is decent. i'd give it a 7/10.


wil_ 6/27/2005 7:19:15 PM

Hasn't EVERY DH album reviewed on LG gotten an 8? I think the guys opinions on production are horribly wrong, Nordstrom owns Townsend productionwise. Not my favorite DH album (that's hidden hands) but an incredible one nonetheless


gwarface_ 6/27/2005 7:25:49 PM

sadist nation was A BIT bland. don't know about this one. there's no grit. a couple throwouts that sound like overly trite castlevania/gothenburg riffs. you know what i'm talking about. their was also a couple kerry king solo rip offs. they might be getting too ambitious. nowadays, most bands are and shouldn't be. first two were great. but now they're playing ozzfefst. for god's sake, the epitomy of all that is wrong with music. bunch a meatheads and trendies that don't know their ass from a who


Coley Thrash_ 6/27/2005 7:48:20 PM

11/10.


Mike_ 6/27/2005 7:51:04 PM

That rant by gwarface represents everything that is wrong with music. You don't know your c-ck from your ass yet still act like you know who deserves what, etc. Smoke your dad's pole, bro.


The Set Up_ 6/27/2005 9:42:14 PM

Growlllllllllllll RAWWWWWWWRRRRRRRRRRRR! Darkest Hour stood out cause they started doing the gothenburg metal style before everyone in US decided to start a A f*ckING METALCORE BAND! No that there are 5,865,143 metal core bands with names like "As I Bleed In the Dying Wall" I am f*cking sick of this shit. NO MORE OF THESE BANDS PLEASE! Is this album good. yes. Is it anythign revolutionary or new? NO. Dennis Lyxen is right, "WE NEED NEW NOISE"! p.s. "X" up your hands, put your Judge hoodie on


Selvin_ 6/27/2005 10:05:44 PM

I'm wet over this.


xtroyx_ 6/27/2005 10:46:39 PM

i love judge. i don't like darkest hour though. they have always been terribly boring.


weber_ 6/27/2005 11:37:53 PM

f*ck yeah this still r00lz


Cory_ 6/28/2005 12:15:06 AM

I would have given it a 9/10.


littlemac_ 6/28/2005 12:16:56 AM

i think this album is really really great. it's not as good as victory's hype of course, but its one of the most crisp metal albums i've heard in awhile - i guess by that i mean that i always want to listen to it again and i enjoy every aspect of it from the songwriting to the delivery to the production. i think the review is decent; i just think it would have been more interesting if he discussed the ways DH did and/or did not take it to another level with this record (in light of all the hyp


hxcobd_ 6/28/2005 12:45:30 AM

It's official, Coley Thrash is a f*cking idiot, and his musical opinion is never to be taken seriously again. Reasonable review for a great album. 7/10 or 8/10 is just.


anonymous 6/28/2005 12:50:29 AM

darkest hour finally added the one thing that it sorely needed, SOLOS! 8-9/10


Coldchain_ 6/28/2005 2:06:46 AM

Darkest Hour remain one of the better bands to pull off the Gothenburg-infused metalcore sound, but that doesn't distract from the fact that I never liked this band nor this style of metal/hardcore. I agree with previous reviewers, we need something new. This shit is tired and gimmicky


Coley Thrash_ 6/28/2005 2:11:31 AM

YES. Finally my first Lambgoat elitist prick bash. Thank you hxcob. For making me a real woman... err, man.


thegoddamnawesome_ 6/28/2005 8:00:14 AM

^gay.


pulsar_ 6/28/2005 8:20:43 AM

I give this a 9/10. The production is FANTASTIC, the songs are more streamlined and diverse, the keyboard and synth bits are rad, the whole thing is just great. As good as Hidden Hands... was, this one blows it out of the water.


BURZUM_ 6/28/2005 8:55:57 AM

I like this album just as good as the last. i think i like darkest hour because they're the least metalcore of the gothenburg/etc styled bands plus they don't put sloppy breakdowns after ever other riff... They've changed quite a bit from what they had back in the mid/latter 90's.


Drewcifer_ 6/28/2005 10:38:09 AM

Darkest Hour f*cking blows. Read more about this and many other extreme metal bands on metalreview.com. Doo da.


whitelambpowergoat_ 6/28/2005 11:56:35 AM

coley thrash is a f*cking gay. please come show your ugly face on the forum so you can be annihilated thx


weston_ 6/28/2005 12:50:15 PM

best cd to come out in years


keepthechange_ 6/28/2005 1:22:50 PM

i bought this album twice, once for myself an once for the person who hates them the most


anonymous 6/28/2005 3:13:14 PM

Amazing album, these guys never fail to impress.


har_har_ 6/28/2005 3:53:08 PM

seriously, f*ck that guy that attempted to steal my Ronald McDonald gimmick up towards the top, you will go to hell for that!


xchadsterx_ 6/28/2005 4:25:19 PM

pure garbage compared to hidden hands posted by captnigga () on 6/27/2005 6:38:12 PM


jefferson_ 6/28/2005 7:17:28 PM

i would give 9/10


ktk_ 6/28/2005 8:22:36 PM

Track 2 is incredibly gay. Most notably in lyrical content and the bullshit pseudo-singing.


rat_ 6/28/2005 10:02:11 PM

album of the year at least


f28r06a42n12k_ 6/28/2005 10:45:26 PM

God damn that's a long f*cking review. Darkest Hour blows, this review was without a doubt tlnr.


suchafashioncorefag_ 6/29/2005 2:25:06 AM

At least Darkest Hour doesn't f*cking waste everyones time with boring, overdone breakdowns. f*ck metalcore, DH is a solid band. Solid release. They haven't sold out...errr, tried to evolve their sound. 7/10.


johnny_ 6/29/2005 3:09:21 AM

masterpiece


JMM_ 6/29/2005 1:33:11 PM

buddy obviously hasn't heared any other townsend produced records... and by the looks of that particular sentence, doesn't know what "production" entails.


Mixhail_ 6/29/2005 6:53:25 PM

This is a pretty good cd... but it is not anywhere to lose to groundbreaking or legendary. I do like how they tried to bring back the sound of "The Mark of the Judas" on this album and that the drums sound alot heavier than on the last cd. But most of the riffs on here sound so familiar and so generic. An 8/10 is a good score. O... i also like the cover art alot.


X PAUL WALL X_ 6/29/2005 8:53:38 PM

MIXHAIL......SHUTUP gay!


mik_ 6/29/2005 8:57:53 PM

obviously this reviewer doesnt know what he is talking about, probably the first DH album he heard, this is by far way to hyped for nothing. this album is nothing comparable to the others.. that ecard victory is so wrong.. i hope this reviewer gets shit on for his poor knowledge and plus he is just trying to suck up to the band since he knows them.. mike gluck you better start learning your facts before you give albums an 8. and the production haha go to a good studio please


anonymous 6/30/2005 2:01:15 AM

^ wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh


Nick LaRusso_ 7/4/2005 7:15:13 AM

a very very boring album dont think ive got past track 4 each time ive tried to give it a chance


anonymous 7/14/2005 6:40:12 PM

11/10. posted by Coley Thrash (methadonekitty88@hotmail.com) on 6/27/2005 7:48:20 PM


yup yup_ 7/20/2005 4:26:29 AM

good step for Darkest Hour. Their old stuff was just boring but i like this cd.


djc_ 7/31/2005 12:08:10 PM

BETTER THAN SLAYER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


djc_ 7/31/2005 12:15:26 PM

What is wrong with a band evolving their sound???Why do you want to stay with the same sounding album over and over???


DenyThisFlesh_ 9/8/2005 2:50:38 PM

hidden hands was good but this is much better 9/10


slice your face_ 11/20/2005 9:51:49 AM

undoing ruin is excellent for what it is. it's actually listenable! they've outdone their competition and finally made it to the top of their scene with admirable endurance.


anonymous 1/24/2006 6:04:04 PM

this cd kicks ass


anonymous 1/26/2006 9:26:14 PM

can't wait to see them at the ottobar on feb. 23. last time i saw them they tore it the f*ck up! Can't wait for this album!


anonymous 1/26/2006 9:27:12 PM

oops, that was for another review, I R dumbass


amanda_ 7/31/2006 3:31:36 PM

WEll i think this album is good i like how they do sound different from other bands and i can tell its darkest hour. but i must say by the 4th track i am kinda bored. the songs are great just are missing something.