01. Doomsayer (The Beginning of the End) 02. Sanctuary 03. Demon(s) 04. Ethereal Drain 05. Paradox with Flies 06. Light at the Edge of the World 07. Stand and Receive Your Judgment 08. Tunguska 09. Fire in the Skies 10. Full Imperial Collapse 11. Deliver Us2007 Victory Records
by Ryan Ogle
Darkest Hour is one of those bands that have always stood out amongst the crowd. Back when the Gothenburg craze swept over the American metal scene like crabs through a dingy strip club, these five maniacs jumped onto the scene with an exhilarating dose of high-quality melodi-core. Where other bands that swam in this pond fell victim the throes of redundancy and mediocrity, Darkest Hour was one of the handful that really had something to offer. Not only that, but they have proven that they are a band who knows how to evolve with time. I'm going to stop short of calling Deliver Us the band's greatest effort, because it didn't quite have the initial impact that Undoing Ruin did. Where that one sucker-punched me right from the start, this is an album that I had to spend a little more time with. Once completely immersed, I took a look around and found one incredibly solid and well-written collection of metal tunes. What better way to start this show than with the action-packed "Doomsayer (The Beginning Of The End)." This tune has it all; a lush acoustic intro, truckloads of melodic riffing, a powerful and memorable chorus and tasty guitar solos. More direct and aggressive are flesh-rippers like "Sanctuary" and "Full Imperial Collapse," the latter showing a decidedly more disturbed side to the band. For fans that feed off the lifeforce of killer melody, Deliver Us offers the semi-epic vibe of "Tunguska" and the driving vocal hook of "Demon(s)." If you're at this party for no other reason than a good ole' ass-beating, shove your head in the speaker and blast "Stand And Receive Your Judgment" for about an hour straight. Sure the songs are good, but how does it sound Well, I can answer that with three simple words - Devin Fucking Townsend. That's right, after striking sonic gold on Undoing Ruin; the lads once again put their faith in the hands of the madman himself and as usual, are better off for doing so. Where the last album was a tad on the polished side, Deliver Us comes across with a biting and bold organic crunch; a lot like a good imported beer. Bottom Line: After five albums these boys still know how to kick ass. While there may be a few more accessible moments on this one then we've heard in the past, you really can't say that this band has lost their edge. Their forward-thinking use of vocal phrasing and melodic interplay with the guitars shows that they aren't afraid to move in new directions while keeping their feet firmly planted on the soil from which they sprung. A solid album made of solid tunes, 'nuff said.