Darkest Hour
Deliver Us


4.5
superb

Review

by J. Ponton EMERITUS
December 14th, 2009 | 333 replies | 29,961 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "So rest your head and close your eyes; just one more step 'till we're over the edge."

”Who will free you?”

What exactly is an individual’s darkest hour? Is it a figure of speech alluding to a past experience? Is it an unspecified amount of time when outside pressures are so insurmountably pressed against an individual that they could break – on the inside as well as on the outside? Does everyone have one? If so, what determines the intensity? Be it emotions, psychological predispositions, and the situations themselves, what causes our lowest of lows? I’m sure most of us have – or will – face a time in our lives when things are just too much to bare. Some will press through, but others aren’t as fortunate; to those who never experience a phase such as this in their life, I say this: I envy you. For the rest of us though, what do we do to survive? Who will deliver us when that time of our life begins?

Darkest Hour released Deliver Us in 2007. In many ways, this is the band at their peak: the melodies – both on the guitar and those found in the vocals – are the band’s strongest yet; guitarists Kris Norris and Mike Schleibaum have stepped it up with this outing as well as many solos and impressive leads fill the majority of the tracks; finally, vocalist John Henry sounds passionate and relentless; his snarl wields urgency and agression as its weapon – a tool to carry the truth to the rest of a world buried in and overcome by the oppression of our inner demons. Deliver Us carries a hefty burden on its shoulders; if you can imagine the weight of your own problems, imagine that added to the masses of the rest of the world. Is this the album that could be up to the task of addressing our issues, but more importantly, picking us up and sending us out to wage war against the hands of opposition so set on our demise?

Darkest Hour sets the mood for the album with what is essentially their strongest track to date. “Doomsayer(The Beginning of the End)” invites listeners in with a foreboding acoustic guitar. John enters with the initial riff, spinning a tale of hope and the process of overcoming the end while the band storms and rages war in the background. All the while, listeners are dragged and battered in the process – their weakened bodies squeezed of whatever remaining life might be left in their useless shells. When all seems lost, the bridge kicks: a head-banging riff ensues, and a guitar solo born of fire shoots and spins between a riff and drum interplay. Revitalized and against all odds, the listener is back on their feet, joining John in the momentous declaration: ”Who will free you? Look in the mirror!” It's just the opening track, yet the listener is already ensnared by the band. What lays in store for the rest of the album?

The three-track run of “Demon(s)”, “An Ethereal Drain”, and “A Paradox with Flies” follow shortly thereafter, and as these tracks demonstrate, the band has discovered how to successfully walk the narrow line between melody and brutal play. If listeners aren’t screaming back the lines of these songs by the fourth play-through – both as a result of emotional passion, as well as catchiness – then you are welcome to disregard the rest of this review and anything I have stated thus far. Whereas “Demon(s)” is the single of the album – catchy and anthem-like in its delivery. “A Paradox with Flies” plays the role of a narrator, observing his own actions - or possibly the actions of another - and encourages the audience to reach and strive for more than what is initially settled for.

“Stand and Receive Your Judgment” and “Full Imperial Collapse” act as fast and energetic jaunts of aggression. Situated between these two tracks are “Tunguska” and “Fire in the Skies”: both of which recall the melodic death three-track run mentioned earlier. “Tunguska” makes references to a meteorite crash incident that occurred in Russia. The track is a process of riffs and relentless choruses; the highlight of the track, however, is the acoustic-solo-acoustic section near the end. “Fire in the Skies” is an anthem that calls listeners to awake and chastises them for their apathy: “So show me what it takes to fall asleep on the eve of destruction.” A fist-in-the-air moment can be found in the bridge section where the guitars follow an altogether different trail as a call to arms riff takes prominence in the mix.

The call to awakening and renewal ends with the title track. In recent interviews, the band has stated that each final track on each of their albums is always a hint of what is to come on the next record. Taking this into consideration, it comes as no surprise that the finale contains some of the best work from Kris and Mike as the band pursued a more guitar-technical sound with their recent album. Once again, the bridge is of particular interest where the duo spin and cross over and under each other with a fantastic solo before John comes in for the final line: ”Only when you're through fleeing can you save yourself…deliver us.”

John couldn’t have closed off the album in a better way. The line references and sums up the main idea and theme of Deliver Us: listeners are encouraged to take control of the situation, grab a hold of their demons, and deliver themselves without aid. Darkest Hour doesn't point the finger at a high power – God, politicians, authority. No, the band points the finger at themselves and all of us as individual people. Deliver Us is Darkest Hour at their best thus far; the music is technical, melodic, and as evidenced by the consistent theme, cohesive. If ever you find yourself in your darkest hour, turn on Deliver Us and answer the question of who will free you for yourself:

"Look in the mirror!"



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Athom
Staff Reviewer
December 14th 2009



17204 Comments


fuckin love this cd

Ponton
Emeritus
December 14th 2009



5790 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Doomsayer is truly one of my favorite songs of all time; I can't get tired of it. Just listen to the bridge.

Mordecai.
December 14th 2009



8277 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

album rules. good review too. pos for you.

Yazz_Flute
December 14th 2009



18770 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

“Doomsayer(The Beginning of the Exit)”

should be "Beginning of the End

Great review though, and excellent album.

Digging: Eskaton - 4 Visions

Ponton
Emeritus
December 14th 2009



5790 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Fixed.

That's so weird though, my track name on my computer says exit.

Yazz_Flute
December 14th 2009



18770 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Tunguska and Fire in the Skies are probably my two favorites.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
December 14th 2009



8327 Comments


nice review, will add to my list, but won't get to it right away. Haven't even gotten to Woe Of Tyrants yet. Fuck, I'm either real slow or time just flys by

Phantom
December 14th 2009



8930 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The hammer-on/pull off ambient-ish section in the title track is my favourite part of the album.

Whole thing is really awesome though tbh

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
December 14th 2009



7983 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

every song on this cd is win

bloc
December 14th 2009



34774 Comments


solo in Doomsayer rocks

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

Lelle
December 14th 2009



2155 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

John Henry and his little gang of musicians will always have a special place among all the artists I listen to. I fucking love this band

SteelErectedb4you8er
December 14th 2009



2616 Comments


Hidden Hands of Saddist Nation and Undoing Ruin are albums that I like better by them, but this album has awesome tunes on it. These guys are pretty solid for the most part. Doomslayer does kick it.

Lelle
December 14th 2009



2155 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hidden Hands of a Sadist Nation is just as awesome as this, if not even more

shortone323
December 14th 2009



883 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review. Album is pretty good but I've kinda grown off it. Tunguska and Demon(s) are definitely still among my favorite songs here. And review may be too good, I stopped watching Dexter to listen to this, and I have to get through all the highlights now.

Ponton
Emeritus
December 14th 2009



5790 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks for the comments.

Yeah, I think I may have gotten a little too carried away with the review, but I really like this album. I better put it down for a while so it won't get old.

Wizard
December 14th 2009



19343 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Monstrously awesome review. Well written dude. Album is darn good.

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

ShadowRemains
May 14th 2010



20538 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great review, Doomsayer's main riff is so awesome, and Tunguska slays

Digging: Banks - Goddess

ShadowRemains
May 14th 2010



20538 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

all the tracks are pretty good/great though

PanasonicYouth
November 29th 2010



7411 Comments


this is so fukkin good ugh

Realm
November 29th 2010



2074 Comments


its sick



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