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Darkest Hour - Undoing Ruin

2005 Victory Records :: Reviewed by skeksis on 2006-02-02

Darkest Hour have been plugging their wares and earning a respectable following since their formation in 1998. Now armed with a 7', a split EP, and their fourth record, the DC based band look set to differentiate themselves from the glut of metalcore bands they unfortunately get lumped with. I never really gave the band a good listening to prior, simply because of their derivative, but extremely potent take on the whole Gothenburg sound. It was ferocious to say the least, but I've heard it a million times at this point and there was simply nothing that made them stand out. On their fourth record, the Devin Townsend produced 'Undoing Ruin', the band slow things down on places, and altogether have crafted an album of unique (albeit still based in that Gothenburg sound) and emotionally crushing songs. The speed has been reigned in, and with the help of a truly crushing production courtesy of the head nut in SYL (truly, his best to date, bar none), songs like 'With a thousand words to say but one' and the Slayer inspired opening of 'This will outlive us', breathe better and come across less as a jumble of riffs. But it's on the albums slower, more moody cuts like the incredible 'Convalescence', 'Ethos' and 'Paradise', that the band give themselves more of a identity than most metalcore bands will even come close to. Vocalist John Henry and drummer Ryan Parrish should get notable mention. John's vocals are truly some of the most larynx shredding and tortured of any band, and genre. And Ryan Parrish is truly one of the scene's best drummers. Also hats of to Devin Townsend for the production. Think of classic Slayer/Rick Rubin era production and mix it with modern technology and you have an inkling of how devastating the sound of this record is. Devastating to say the least.