Darkest Hour
The Eternal Return


3.5
great

Review

by Channing Freeman STAFF
June 22nd, 2009 | 173 replies | 27,982 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Aggressive, dark, catchy, and fun, The Eternal Return is a worthy addition to Darkest Hour's discography.

Given their release date proximity, allow me, for a moment, to compare Darkest Hour's The Eternal Return with Killswitch Engage's second self-titled album. Killswitch Engage have shown so little progression over the past few years that, with their latest album, they've started to instead regress. They sound basically the same, but somehow they've still gotten worse. At first glance, you might feel inclined to make the same judgment about Darkest Hour; The Eternal Return isn't too much different from 2007's apocalyptic-themed Deliver Us, but there are enough subtle changes to keep them from slipping into a cycle of repetition and recycling like Killswitch Engage have done.

The Eternal Return is a much more aggressive album, and although Deliver Us had themes of the apocalypse and mankind's destruction, this album manages to be even darker because it has none of the underlying hope that Deliver Us had. This is most apparent on the first song that was released, "No God." As the title suggests, the song is a bleak affair, with oppressive riffs and layered vocals from John Henry, who screams "No god to consume you...no god, it's all an illusion." Once again John Henry is the band's strongest asset, his emphatic, unapologetic vocals dominating The Eternal Return. And while there were clean vocals in a number of songs on Deliver Us, they are nowhere to be found on The Eternal Return. However, that doesn't mean this album isn't catchy; in fact, far from it. Opener "Devolution Of Flesh"'s screamed hook of "You're a plague!" on top of double bass drums and palm muting is immediately gripping.

The loss of Kris Norris led a lot of people to believe that the technical aspect of Darkest Hour's music would be diminished, but that's not what happened at all. Mike "Lonestar" Carrigan is a more than suitable replacement for Norris, and the only negative thing you could say about him is that he doesn't have much of his own identity; if you didn't know Norris had left the band beforehand, you probably would think it was him playing on The Eternal Return. Let's not split hairs though; Lonestar's riffs are solid (and typically Gothenburg) and his solos are great. His shining moment is "Tides," where he rips through a minute-long, two-part solo that is both technical and catchy as hell. And those who complained about the somewhat repetitive and pedestrian drums on Deliver Us can find some solace in the fact that the drumming is slightly better here. Instead of merely fitting the music, the drums are more varied and interesting this time around.

While Darkest Hour didn't change much on The Eternal Return, it's still a great metal album that is catchy and fun while still being dark. They've proven themselves to be masters of slight progression, keeping things interesting enough to enable their albums to have a different sound while still remaining true to their roots. John Henry's vocals are as impassioned as ever (listen to "Into The Grey," when all the instruments stop for a few seconds, leaving him on his own, similar to "Doomsayer"), and the band is tight and complex. While it might not be the best metal album released this year, The Eternal Return is a worthy addition to Darkest Hour's discography.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
XXXpickemgenius
June 22nd 2009



139 Comments


i agree.



Mordecai.
June 22nd 2009



8278 Comments


fuck yeah can't wait to get this. Big fan of Deliver Us and Undoing Ruin. Great review!


Phantom
June 22nd 2009



8930 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

The first half of the Tides solo is awesome. I agree about the lack of indentity though.

Buying this tomorrow.

gaslightanthem
June 22nd 2009



5209 Comments


BOOM BAND RULES

jingledeath
June 22nd 2009



7104 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good album, might bump the rating after a few more listens

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
June 22nd 2009



17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

123 i was struggling with the rating

MalConstant
June 22nd 2009



62 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm really impressed with the album. I was hoping for an instrumental this time around like Veritas Aquetas. The only disappointment I have with the album is that it's a little short and other than that it's a fantastic album. Thinking of fiving this.

YouAreMySilence
June 22nd 2009



3727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

No God is sooo great.
I found that this was acually their most solid release, I found Deliver Us got boring after awhile.
I guess since this just came out my opinuin may change after awhile.
But great review but I'm sure you didn't need me to tell you that.

CushMG15
June 23rd 2009



1802 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Some of Deliver Us got boring after awhile. Demons, Stand and Receive Your Judgement, Fire In the Sky, and especially the title track are all killer. This album is pretty badass. Chan hit it on the head.

McP3000
June 23rd 2009



3941 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah so this album goes back and forth between really great and really bland

but more great than bland obviously.

morjens
June 23rd 2009



207 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love this record, 'devolution', 'the tides', 'no god', 'bitter' and 'into the grey' are highlights for
now.

I don't agree with the first paragraph part in the review about Killswitch not changing at all. I
think it's the
other way around, the new killswitch record sounds a bit different than their older stuff and this
record sounds exactly like the darkest hour we know except for some of the solos which is obviously
only because of the guitarist swap.

Captain North
June 23rd 2009



6787 Comments


You know, I much prefer Deliver Us, whereas I don't agree with the Killswitch reference...their new album is actually doing some new things instrumentally.

Infernis
June 23rd 2009



398 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

On the bright side, the solos will now be played right live. Kris couldn't play them live...really. Which is odd, because I've heard him play it fine alone, but I guess the adrenaline gets him or something? Good rating, Chan.

lobby
June 23rd 2009



1251 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I am going to get this just so i can find out how an album could possible be "aggressive, dark, catchy and fun" all at the same time.

Reeke
June 23rd 2009



61 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's good but not up there with deliver us imo.

This album has a more consistant sound throughout the album, deliver us mixed things up and was more unique to me.

Wizard
June 23rd 2009



19375 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great review Chan. I will most likely pick this up.

Digging: Mistigo Varggoth Darkestra - The Key to the Gates of the Apocalypse

Essence
June 23rd 2009



3585 Comments


good album is good

ianjulian
June 23rd 2009



630 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great album,is awesome, es como hacer el amor en un baƱo de un restaurante, increible

Zip
June 23rd 2009



5312 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yah I agree mostly, I guess the 4 will wear off after a copuple times.

GBJ
June 23rd 2009



496 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is good, but deliver us was so much more memorable. Agreed though that the drumming definitely improved, thank god



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