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Undoing Ruin

Darkest Hour

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Album Review

On Undoing Ruin, Washington, D.C.'s Darkest Hour continue to refine their metalcore attack, bringing a bit more dynamic range and added complexity to their arrangements but otherwise leaving their time-tested, searing roar intact. The most notable step forward is taken by singer/screamer John Henry, who takes a welcome break from his usual lyrical attack on such fish-in-a-barrel subjects as government duplicity, crass commercialism, and religious hypocrisy and turns his formidable lung capacity inward, addressing more intimate issues related to change and personal progress. Lines like "If we can make it through the landslide standing/We'll lift each other up to see the bliss on the horizon" read more like something from the Rocket Summer than from any of Darkest Hour's more obvious musical predecessors, but the band's mosh-pit faithful don't need to worry — Henry screams those lines as if his skin is being peeled off, and on "This Will Outlive Us" he plays a probably inadvertent vocal tribute to fellow Washingtonian H.R. The guitars of Kris Norris and Mike Schleibaum just get bigger and more flashy with every album, to the point that they're starting to flirt with prog rock complexity; on tracks like "Convalescence" and "These Fevered Times" their contrapuntal twin solos walk that very, very thin line between "Dude!" and "Dude, is that the new Asia album?" Recommended.

Biography

Formed: 1995 in Washington D.C.

Genre: Rock

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

Washington, D.C.'s Darkest Hour are supporters of the death metal/hardcore merger, founded in the early '90s by such outfits as Carcass and Entombed. Comprising 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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Undoing Ruin, Darkest Hour
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