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Darkest Hour - Party Scars&Prison Bars

“Metal thrashing mad!”
A phrase I’ve heard quite often these days. Anthrax’ re-union tour and the constant playing of and complimenting on their 2004 album ‘The Greater Of Two Evils’, colleagues who keep ranting on and on that thrashmetal is alive and kicking...
Let’s face it. Thrash is hot.
Bugger – biggest contradiction ever.

The Band
Darkest Hour are a thrashmetal band with a lot of influences from other styles of metal and punk. To be honest, I’d never heard of these guys before. Their discography includes three full-length albums, one split cd with the Hungarians of Downcore, one EP and one split 7” with Groundzero.
Not too shabby.

The Main Content – A Thrashography
Handycam footage is shown. Some guy says a short intro and then the music kicks in. Welcome to the home video of Darkest Hour. Well, I’ll be...

It’s not like I haven’t seen this before, it’s just that I didn’t expect this on the dvd. Although the title says ‘Party Scars & Prison Bars’, I expected a kick-ass concert of the band.
'If only it were true' - that's what I thought when seeing the first footage.
It’s a ten-year history story of the band and the road they paved when reaching the level they are on right now. Sheltered by Victory Records, the band looks back on their ‘early years’.

The dvd contains loads of interviews with the individual band members, about their part in the band, their antics throughout the years and about the things to come.
Guitarist Michael Schleibaum for example talks about the time the band got arrested for possession of marihuana. Thing is, they didn’t have any stuff on them. But still, they had to go to the office with the cops and explain their story as their car got searched. Quite hilarious when you hear it.
There are only 5 music videos on the dvd, which is kind of a pity. They are of excellent quality, though, and should be put on very, very loud to enjoy them in the way they deserve to be heard.
Another very funny scene is where drummer Ryan ‘Currently Nicknameless’ Parrish talks while brushing his teeth. Because he is so hard to understand, his bandmates took the liberty of subtitleing his monologue with additional commentary. I can tell you, this is absolutely hilarious! Thing is, you’ll have to use the ‘slow’ option on your remote, because the subtitles move as fast as Ryan talks while brushing his teeth. Get my drift?
There are other hilarious moments, but also moments which can be labeled dull for the people who don’t know Darkest Hour and bought this dvd out of the blue. Tough luck for them, but hey... you can’t have the world, can you?

The Extras
There’s quite a lot of extras on this disk. There are a lot of photographs, there is an audio commentary on the entire main content of the disk, interviews with the crew and friends, a search for soundman Mike and some other stuff.
For the most, this is interesting only for fans of the band who’d really like to know more of these enigmatic guys. For the folks that just come peeping around the corner, this stuff is less interesting. I know this because I’ve been watching most of it apathically. No offense, really. As said before, it’s great material for the fans.

The Quality
This is a sensitive issue, I guess. The quality of the interviews have been brought back a bit to give it a more ‘living’ feel, but to me it was plain annoying because I watched the disk when I was tired. The effect didn’t change when I watched it again when I got my waky-waky call, though...
The music videos are, as said before, of excellent quality and this makes you realize how bad the quality of some of the content actually is. I don’t know the price of this dvd, but I recommend you take heed while looking for it on the shelves of your local music store. Compare prices first, is my advice on this.

The Verdict
This dvd is mainly meant for the fans who have been following the band like puppies since their early years. The material it contains can be fun for the outsider, but there are also many things that wouldn’t catch your interest if you stumbled upon this dvd out of the blue. There’s also the issue of the quality, which backs up my previous statement.
If you like Darkest Hour, this is must-have material.
As for the rest, you know what they say: Who dares, wins.
...Most of the time, anyway.

Line up:
John Henry – vocals
Kris Norris – guitars
Michael Schleibaum – guitars
Paul Burnette – bass
Ryan Parrish – drums
Mike Garrity – good times
Hunter Gibson – dungeon pig

Autobiography of ten years of history

World Tour pictures (title says it all...)
Boomerang (conversation with crew / friends)
Where’s soundman Mike? (short search for Mike, who’s drunk)
Dungeon Pig (Hunter talks about stuff)
Behind The Scenes (storyboard and pictures)
Talking Shit (audio commentary of the main content)
Sparky’s soggy story (Sparky talks about the time he got pissed on by Kris)

Darkest Hour - Party Scars&Prison Bars
70/1001Details Victory Records
Released on Tuesday Nov 30th, -0001
Thrash Metal

Writer @Bastian Blackrain on Wednesday Apr 6th, 2005

Tags: #Darkest Hour
Line up
Darkest Hour, Bleeding Through, Beneath The Massacre, Carnifex and others - Thrash & Burn Tour 2009
Darkest Hour, Bleeding Through, Beneath The Massacre, Carnifex and others - Thrash & Burn Tour 2009