12 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Fans of metalcore quintet Darkest Hour may be somewhat surprised to find the band’s seventh studio album aiming for commercial accessibility, though not as obviously as some of their more ambitious peers. The Human Romance still throws solid metalcore punches beginning with the eardrum assault of “The World Engulfed In Flames” where a foundation built on ham-fisted drumming and root-note bass-runs come together to support melodic guitar shredding and John Henry screaming like a young Lemmy Kilmister (sans English accent). “Savor the Kill” boasts twin guitarmonies that recall early Iron Maiden and a chorus catchy enough to get stuck in your head like a pop song. But even the tunes that flirt with mall-friendly screamo (“Love As a Weapon” and “Beyond the Life You Know”) keep the scales tipped on the side of classic metal’s influence, so this direction sounds more like a natural evolution instead of a blatant sell-out. And there are still moments where the band harks back to their darker hardcore roots, like bonus track “Hierarchy Of Heathens” — a feral tirade of vocal tantrums and six-string catharsis.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Fans of metalcore quintet Darkest Hour may be somewhat surprised to find the band’s seventh studio album aiming for commercial accessibility, though not as obviously as some of their more ambitious peers. The Human Romance still throws solid metalcore punches beginning with the eardrum assault of “The World Engulfed In Flames” where a foundation built on ham-fisted drumming and root-note bass-runs come together to support melodic guitar shredding and John Henry screaming like a young Lemmy Kilmister (sans English accent). “Savor the Kill” boasts twin guitarmonies that recall early Iron Maiden and a chorus catchy enough to get stuck in your head like a pop song. But even the tunes that flirt with mall-friendly screamo (“Love As a Weapon” and “Beyond the Life You Know”) keep the scales tipped on the side of classic metal’s influence, so this direction sounds more like a natural evolution instead of a blatant sell-out. And there are still moments where the band harks back to their darker hardcore roots, like bonus track “Hierarchy Of Heathens” — a feral tirade of vocal tantrums and six-string catharsis.

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About Darkest Hour

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 its debut recording a year later, The Mark of the Judas, and was ready to support the release when its label suddenly went out of business.

Label-less but not down and out, Darkest Hour quickly gained the interest of Victory Records, issuing a sophomore effort, So Sedated, So Secure, in July of 2001. It was followed by the release of Hidden Hands of a Sadist Nation in 2003, an album proclaimed by Revolver to be a "metalcore classic." Summer 2004 found Darkest Hour with a slot on Ozzfest's second stage. The following February, Darkest Hour released a DVD, Prison Scars and Party Bars: A Thrashography, which documented their first ten years as a band (1995-2005) with music videos, live footage, and interviews. Back on the album front, the well-received Undoing Ruin appeared in June 2005 before A-F Records issued the rarities collection Archives (which included their two earliest EPs, 1996's The Misanthrope and 1999's The Prophecy Fulfilled) that October. Deliver Us arrived in the summer of 2007 followed by Eternal Return in 2009. They supported the album by opening for Trivium on the Summer Slaughter tour.

In April they left Victory after a full decade on the label, and signed with eOne. The Human Romance, produced by Peter Wichers of Soilwork, was issued in February of 2011. The album entered Billboard's Heatseekers chart at number three. After extensive touring, Parrish left the band in December, followed by bassist Paul Burnette six months later. They were eventually replaced by drummer Travis Orbin and bassist Aaron Deal.

The label arrangement with eOne was short-lived; Darkest Hour signed with Sumerian Records in 2013. Producer Taylor Larson (I, the Breather, Periphery) was enlisted and helped the band to craft a new sound that focused more on hook-laden, melodic death songwriting. Simply titled Darkest Hour, the set was issued in August of 2014. ~ Greg Prato

  • ORIGIN
    Washington, D.C.
  • GENRE
    Rock
  • FORMED
    1995

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