I like death metal. Although the cookie-monster type growling vocals usually tend to turn me off very quickly, I do like and listen to quite a bit of it. When done correctly, death metal vocals can add to the style and make songs feel even heavier. That being said, however, death metal vocals are not the way to deliver deep and meaningful lyrics. If you've listened to any amount of death metal, you know that the lyrical content is usually rather shallow, mostly about dismemberment and killing, kind of like gangsta rap, come to think of it. But I digress.
Darkest Hour are not your typical death metal band, though. Lyrically, they bring it on a wide range of topics, from the anti-war "Marching To The Killing Rythm" and "The Seven Day Lie" to the American media in "The Misinformation Age" to the world's perception of the American culture of fear and violence in "Sadist Nation." For someone dedicated enough to read along with the lyrics and figure out all the vocals, the band's message is definately there. For those a little less dedicated, there's a quick side-note for a few of the songs which briefly explains the inspiration. Obviously, this is a band with a little more to say than "kill them, rip them," etc.
Heavy is the order of the day for this band. Pounding double-bass, scorching guitar work and some electronics to add emphasis all combine to play songs that are extremely good. Incorporating elements of punk, speed metal and hardcore to come up with a unique sound, Darkest Hour really comes of age with this CD. Despite the cookie-monster style death vocals, this is a strong album from a talented band. The music is well-written and tightly played, the lyrics are strong and done very well (for death metal vocals, anyway).