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Darkest Hour - Undoing Ruin
Utilizing a very typical "Göthenburg" sound, Darkest Hour plays a modern kind of metalcore that you might have heard before. "Great.." you think. Another band trying to sound like a poor man's attempt at old In Flames mixed up with american hardcore.

Well those were my first thoughts when I did some readup about the band. Fortunately, this record proves that the exception justifies the rule. There are tons of bands with this kind of sound, and most of them are just plain boring. Luckily for Darkest Hour, they have put out a record which grabs you by the balls and will only let you go when the last song has played. Clocking in at almost 38 minutes with 11 tracks (including two short instrumentals), Undoing Ruin is a modern day metal epic.

Opening track "With a Thousand Words to Say But One" starts with a cool ambient-electronic intro, and quickly erupts into maybe one of the best songs of this record. Up tempo drumming, some great riffs and a kick ass break in the middle. The vocals might not be everyone's cup of tea, vocalist John Henry utilises a sort of gutteral scream which might work on your nerves. I like it, so hooray for that. "Convalescence" is one of the more midtempo paced songs on the record. The band shot a video for this song, and I can understand why. It doesnt have the fast frenzy that some of the other songs have, the guitarlines are great and it's the only song with a chorus that has, erm, some less evil screaming. Lets go to track three. "This Will Outlive Us" begins with a riff that could be on a Slayer record, and it has a cool tempo change towards the end.

A cool thing is that all the songs flow into eachother. So after the slow ending of "This Will Outlive Us", you get a smack in your face from "Sound of the Surrender". I am just going to call it "Ye Olde School In Flames Riffin'", or YOSIFR for short. Fast shredding happening here. Darkest Hour seems to have the uncanny ability to lay down melodic guitarhooks in most of their songs. This song also has a neat guitarsolo going on. It seems the guys can play.

"Pathos" is the first short instrumental, with some nice acoustic playing. The song "Low" is one of the more groovy-but-fast songs, with again some great things going on. It wouldn't suprise me if Kris Norris (guitar), Mike Schleibaum (guitar) and Paul Burnette (bass) end up on the cover of Guitarworld anytime soon. "Ethos" is the second instrumental, altough this time with a more epic metal feel towards it.

Most records tend to get a bit boring towards the end, but in this case, "District Devided" and "These Fevered Times" make sure you finish your ride. Especially "These Fevered Times" is another brilliant song with YOSIFR and some cool harmonic guitarwork. During "Paradise" we actually get a little blast beat, and I can definitely hear some black metal-ish influences in this song. Props to drummer Ryan Parish, who seems to have a great "pushing" feel, not to mention some neat fills and overall tight playing.

"Tranquil", the closer, is also one of my favorite tracks of this record. I think I'm going to patent the term YOSIFR, because you get some more of that in this one. Not to mention the great guitar solo, dual leads, and the lenghty "metal-justified" outro.

I also want to mention the production from Devin Townsend. Mr. T put down a nice wall of sound, which doesnt sound to "clean" compared to modern records. The past year or so I've really begun to hate the "super clean robot sound" some bands tend to have. It's nice to hear something more realistic every now and then. Another memorable fact is that there is no clean singing on this record, and there are no typical breakdowns with chuggachugga guitars. Maybe its just a personal issue that I have, but I'm kinda done with the "angry man vocals vs backstreetboy singing" in alot of bands.

Darkest Hour delivered a record which went straight into my metal top 10 of this year. Awesome musicianship, a pissed-of attitude, a real sound, and just great songs. Those 38 minutes are over before you know it. Since Sweden doesn't export this kind of metal anymore, Darkest Hour seems to pick up the torch.
Darkest Hour - Undoing Ruin
90/1001Details Victory Records
Released on Tuesday Nov 30th, -0001

Writer @Carn on Saturday Jul 9th, 2005

Tags: #Darkest Hour
Tracklisting 1. With A Thousand Words To Say But One (4:22)
2. Convalescence (4:13)
3. This Will Outlive Us (3:48)
4. Sound The Surrender (3:42)
5. Pathos (1:34)
6. Low (3:04)
7. Ethos (1:21)
8. District Divided (2:28)
9. These Fevered Times (3:09)
10. Paradise (3:45)
11. Tranquil (6:22)
Line up Mike Schleibaum - guitar
Kris Norris - guitar
Paul Burnette - bass
Ryan Parrish - drums
John Henry - vocals
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