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The Eternal Return

Darkest Hour

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Album Review

Darkest Hour keep the pedal to the metal on their sixth album. There are no stylistic leaps here, just refinements of the band's impressive technique. The time they spent opening the previous year's At the Gates reunion/farewell tour has clearly affected their songwriting and delivery, as vocalist John Henry's raw-throated roar owes more to Tomas Lindberg than ever. Meanwhile, guitarists Mike Schleibaum and Mike Carrigan carve riffs out of stone and split the sky with lightning-fast solos that blur the line between thrash and prog. The rhythm section keeps it all moving, drummer Ryan Parrish beating the kit right through the floor; bassist Paul Burnette, unfortunately, disappears into the mix — except for an impressive break on "Bitter." Darkest Hour's D.C. hardcore roots emerge on that 80-second tirade, which compresses all the strengths of their more traditional-length songs into a lightning-fast barrage. Just about every other song here, though, features a hooky riff and a memorable — if not "catchy" in the traditional pop chart sense — chorus. These are songs destined to be shouted along with as fists pump in the pit. Combine that with the totally air-guitar-worthy solos, and you've got a very solid metalcore/melodic death metal album. This is what Darkest Hour have always done very well (let "always" = "since Hidden Hands of a Sadist Nation"), and they show no signs of slowing down or slackening on The Eternal Return.

Biography

Formed: 1995 in Washington D.C.

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Washington, D.C.'s Darkest Hour is a supporter of the death metal/hardcore merger, founded in the early '90s by such outfits as Carcass and Entombed. Comprised of members Mike Schleibaum (guitar), Billups Allen (bass), John Henry (vocals), Fred Ziomek (guitar), and Ryan Parrish (drums), the band formed in the mid-'90s, inking a deal with the New York-based underground metal label MIA Records in 1999. The quintet issued...
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The Eternal Return, Darkest Hour
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