Review Summary: The CD is far more than just worthy enough to be considered an addition to the band's discography.
Victory Records is a record label comprised of money-grubbing bastards. Whether or not that can be agreed upon, bashing them is not the priority here. The following group contains a vocalist with a raspy growl, two guitarists whom can afford to play off each other, and a notable inspiration by Sweden's Gothenburg metal scene. Having been active since the year of 1995, they are the hidden hands of the sadist nation, and this five-piece metal band lives to deliver us the mark of the Judas.
hails from Washington D.C. They have recently signed to Sumerian Records – a label I'm sure you know all too well. However, many of the band's releases were issued through Victory; first off, are you aware of VictorVTV? Before this became a podcast-only thing, it would air on weekends via Fuse. Without its existence, none of us would even realize who the hell Darkest Hour was, let alone any other of the labelmates such as
, Between the Buried and Me
, and... yes, Aiden
. But getting back on topic, around this approximate time, Darkest Hour would go on to release their fourth studio album, Undoing Ruin
Released on June 28, 2005, Undoing Ruin
is a record that shows the band coherently mixing the elegant sounds of melodic death metal with the more straightforward metalcore elements that, thankfully enough, don't show up very often. Containing no more than 11 tracks, this leviathan is bound to swallow you whole and spit you out – only to insist on devouring that pathetic body once again. The material is rather consistent, and demonstrates an act playing music with more teeth than the Osmond family. Aside from two companion pieces - “Pathos” and “Ethos” - Darkest Hour maintains their brutality and absolute songwriting.
If the title and artwork of Undoing Ruin
won't convince you, then the listeners need not worry whenever it comes to these guys' musicianship. As was mentioned previously, the band is made up of five members: two guitarists, a bass player, the drummer, and, last but most certainly not least, a fierce frontman. All of them opt to never take a nosedive in quality, nor will the Washington boys ever give a damn about quantity. Each of the bandmates have resulted in creating a memorable batch of songs capable of lifting sinners up from the dark depths of Hell itself.
Kris Norris and Mike Schleibaum, Darkest Hour's guitarists, compliment one another akin to celestial incarnations of Beavis and Butt-head; I do apologize for that petty comparison. The riffs and guitar harmonies displayed on a number of the album's tracks could not have been written more beautifully, and if you're looking for shining proof, hear the entirety of such excellent jams including “Sound the Surrender” and “These Fevered Times”. The band's bassist, Paul Burnette, is typically inaudible (why?), although on Track 2 - “Convalescence” - it's apparent that the man can manage sufficiently.
Ryan Parrish's percussion skills are not faint throughout the record, as his pleas for the drums' desire to be present within the aggressive tone of Darkest Hour's style. Finally, John Henry's presence is what truly makes Undoing Ruin
– and the band in general – shine. He isn't too big on versatility and he kind of bears a resemblance to Victory Record's version of Harry Potter; on the other end of the spectrum, though, John implements passion and a noticeable grate to his voice so much, that it ends up being difficult to despise him, if at all.
In the end, Undoing Ruin
is a solid addition to the band's discography. The album knows not about radio-friendliness and sympathizing with departed ones, and instead leans more towards majestic beatdowns alongside lyrical greatness.