With the bombardment of metalcore bands that have saturated the landscape of heavy metal, it becomes more of a challenge for any band to come up with something solid yet refreshing at the same time. From the opening chords of Darkest Hour’s latest release Deliver Us (Victory Records), they manage to elevate themselves above the many emulators.
With the psychotic production talents of Devin Townsend (of Strapping Young Lad fame) again at the helm, the somber acoustic introduction gives you only false security as it immediately goes into a spastic and potent mix of heavy metal and hard core. "Doomsayer (The Beginning Of The End)” goes the way of In Flames facing off with any of the D.C hardcore bands in a street fight. It’s an immediate welcome into their world of desperation and chaos.
“Demon(s)” immediately brings to mind As I Lay Dying loosely. While AILD can begin to sound slick and manufactured at times, this track maintains their rawness with precision. I can immediately see this becoming a great sing along at their live shows. “A Paradox of Flies” delves into an energetic barrage of old school thrash and presents their guitarwork with more of an anthemic feel. It will surely keep you attentive and having you humming along in no time.
Upon hearing “Tunguska”, you can hear DH definitely gives nods to both Iron Maiden and Metallica circa Master of Puppets without plagiarizing the sound. Darkest Hour bring their record to a close with the title track “Deliver Us” that displays an immense amount of musicianship with both Mike Schleibaum and Kris Norris going into a double-guitar attack that can hold its own among any of the metal heavyweights.
While they do find themselves occasionally at the crossroads of the sing/scream combos that have plagued other bands, vocalist John Henry provides plenty of punch throughout the whole record and accomplishes not having his vocals blend into each other.
Bottom Line: This is definitely one of the best heavy records thus far in 2007. Darkest Hour have constructed 39 minutes of profound metallic bliss. A definite must for any heavy music fan.