Darkest Hour – Deliver Us

Darkest Hour
Deliver Us

Since the release of the first single “Demons”, I have been eagerly anticipating Deliver Us. Hell, since their last release Undoing Ruin I’ve been waiting to see how they were going to top themselves. With “Demons” they peaked in their melodic sensibilities, and though I was worried that they had softened out, Darkest Hour prove on the rest of the album that they have not lost any steam. Their no holds barred approach to their winning combination of death, thrash, and melody is still present, yet it left me wanting just a tiny bit more growth in the process.

The production value of this record is very consistent with their last effort, thanks in part to David Townsend, the perfect producer to bring out the best in this band. In fact, this time it feels just a little more raw than their last which is not a bad thing at all. The most distinct contrast between this and past efforts is the development of Henry’s vocal delivery. This time around it is more refined and he even sings in some parts, though his singing isn’t the typical super pretty contrast to his brutal growls. His singing is just as visceral and intense as his brutal counterpart.

Darkest Hour have taken the phrase “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” to heart. They still manage to deliver a killer onslaught of guitar sounds from Kris and Mike. Listen to “Full Imperial Collapse” for a killer breakdown, and their biggest tribute to thrash comes in the form of “Stand and Receive Your Judgment”. Here they prove they can put together a tight politically driven song wrapped in a fast and unforgiving guitar assault. It is probably the song most reminiscent of their Victory debut Hidden Hands of a Sadist Nation.

Going back to the more melodic tunes, the two (besides “Demons”) with the biggest choruses, “A Paradox With Flies” and “Tunguska” are also two of Darkest Hour’s best. They include everything a Darkest Hour fan wants, taking elements from the near flawless Undoing Ruin and adding beautiful choruses perfectly delivered by John Henry. The melodic tendencies on the first two songs, “Doomsayer” and “Sanctuary” are only fully developed on the later tracks mentioned before, and they are great songs nonetheless.

As I mentioned before, the only problem this album has is its reliance on old ideas. Not much has changed besides the vocals, which are heading in an interesting direction. They are melodic and brutal all at the same time, without being obnoxious at all like other metal acts. But then again, these old ideas are working just fine for Darkest Hour and there’s no sign of them slowing down any time soon.