Darkest Hour – Undoing Ruin

Darkest Hour
Undoing Ruin

I’ve never been a fan of metallic hardcore. I have asserted this opinion several times in different reviews. I’m going to cut Darkest Hour some slack since the band has been around for a while and its members don’t force my discerning ears to listen to some crappy emo singing between their metal licks. Darkest Hour’s drummer, Ryan Parrish, also played in one of my all-time favorite bands, City of Caterpillar, which sounds nothing like Darkest Hour by the way. I’ve heard most of Darkest Hour’s previous works because I have many friends that enjoy the band, and as a person who is not a fan I can say without prejudice that this is the best record I’ve heard by the band. Chris Taylor of Pg. 99 fame also contributed some nice-looking artwork to the record that brings to mind the cover art to Pig Destroyer’s Painter of Dead Girls, which I believe he also created.

I’m not faulting Darkest Hour for playing metal; in fact, the band’s guitarists make it seem like a hell of a lot of fun. The songs on Undoing Ruin are overflowing with technical yet melodic interludes and guitar solos that bring to mind some of the better bands in the genre such as At the Gates and Carcass. Some of the instrumental tracks such as “Pathos” and “Ethos” are so fluid and concise that it almost brings a tear to my eye. The band’s muscular riffing on the verses of other tracks brings to mind early Metallica records like Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets.

So what problems do I really have with this record? None, actually. Darkest Hour’s musicians are quite good at what they do; I’m just not into it. Why? Well, mainly it’s that I don’t really care for the vocals. John Henry comes off as more of a traditional hardcore vocalist, bringing to mind bands such as Hatebreed or Battery. I don’t think it’s necessarily his voice but mostly the delivery. Most people probably won’t have a problem with it. If you are already a fan of Darkest Hour then you should pick this up. Undoing Ruin might even bring a few more fans into the fold with its addition of extra melodic guitar workouts and some excellent production work by Devin Townsend.