Release DetailsLABEL Victory
RELEASED ON 7/10/2007
posted on 7/2007 By:
For those that don’t know, Darkest Hour were releasing At The Gates melodic styled death metal as far back as 1996, while in their teens when most current metalcore bands were in Hot Topic Diapers. Though 2001’s So Sedated So Secure put them on the Victory Records map, it was 2003’s Hidden Hands of a Sadist Nation, released at the height of metalcore’s explosion that saw the band blow up. And while 2005’s Excellent Undoing Ruin was the band’s most mature and experimental release, Deliver Us sees the band improve and re-invent themselves once again with a return to the guitar based, riff driven, solo filled, more straight forward sounds of their more melodic death metal/thrash roots.
Deliver Us starts with a bang in the form of the magnificent opening track, “Doomsayer (The Beginning),” arguably the band's strongest track in years, with a just a delectable main riff and mid song solo that’s to die for. It’s like the band is giving a huge fuck you to all the metalcore pretenders and saying ‘THIS is how you write a fucking At The Gates based metalcore song, fuckers”.
From there out, the next 10 tracks show a band at the very height of their skills and awareness of their roots and the era's current status quo. While, say, Light This City can thrash it up with the best of them (arguably surpassing Darkest Hour for some time), Darkest Hour seem able to be just a touch more adventurous and shrewdly melodic in their songwriting. The short sharp stab of “Sanctuary” is replaced by the controlled canter and chorus of “Demons,” a perfect track for the albums first single/video.
“An Ethereal Drain” and “A Paradox With Flies” see the album hit a sort of two song ‘slump’, not bad tracks, but certainly more restrained and less dynamic songs. However, after the relaxing mid album break of “The Edge of the World”, Darkest Hour tear into “Stand and Receive Your Judgement” and the incredibly developed “Tunguska” with just some killer solo work and deft time changes. The same can be said for “Fire in the Sky” and “Full Imperial Collapse”.
When the title track rolls out one of the most sumptuous solos I’ve heard in ages to close the album in stunning fashion, I realize how underrated Darkest Hour are, especially in this age of one-and-done scene hopping bands with no longevity or creativity. This is Darkest Hour’s fifth quality album and with minor tweaks to a formula they arguably brought to US metal, have stayed true to form and continued to deliver quality music while the scene ebbs, flows and bends to trends around them.
Topped of by Devin Townsend’s stirring production and John Henry’s relentless rasps, Deliver Us is just a strong, strong album, with less filler than Undoing Ruin, and lives by the riff. Grab this album and listen to what one of American Metal’s real originators sounds like.
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