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Darkest Hour - Hidden Hands of a Sadist Nation (Cover Artwork)

Darkest Hour

Darkest Hour: Hidden Hands of a Sadist NationHidden Hands of a Sadist Nation (2003)
Victory Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: AubinAubin
(others by this writer | submit your own)

In my review of the last Darkest Hour record, I made some fairly grandiose statements about metalcore, and I'll probably avoid that this time around. Suffice to say, Darkest Hour makes some fairly hardcore-influenced metal, with strong European influences The combination of aggressive hardcore,.
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In my review of the last Darkest Hour record, I made some fairly grandiose statements about metalcore, and I'll probably avoid that this time around. Suffice to say, Darkest Hour makes some fairly hardcore-influenced metal, with strong European influences The combination of aggressive hardcore, and Swedish metal has been undeniably popular, and the band has recieved much (deserved) acclaim in the underground metal scene.

In that review of the last record, I had some pretty simple criticisms of an otherwise strong record, mainly that some of the tracks lacked energy and the vocals were muted. In almost every way, Hidden Hands addresses those issues, with a substantially more realized and brutal sound, coupled with more melodic, melancholic undertones.

If anything, they've surpased my expectation on much of the record. As before, most the melodies are carried by Kris Norris, Mike Schleibaum's and Paul Burnette's intricate and light speed guitar and bass work, and supplemented by John Henry's anguished but atonal vocals and Ryan Parrish's multi-faceted drumming. Supplementing the original five members are guest spots from members of At The Gates, Soilwork, The Crown and At the Gates-spinoff The Haunted. As well, the record was recorded in it's entirety in the mecca of modern metal, Gotenborg, Sweden.

The result is a much stronger record, which dare I say, surpasses Mark of Judas both for diversity and for the raw unchecked aggression. From the opening blast of speed that marks "The Sadist Nation", to the near perfect "Pay Phones and Pills" to the long, symphonic "Accessible Lies", Hidden Hands of a Sadist Nation is powerful stuff.

It's hard to pinpoint what makes the record work so well; be it the much more prevelant melodies, the constant experimentation with tempo, the ability to combine such diverse heavy influences coherently, or the reluctance to fall into genre traps, this is an outstanding heavy record and will hopefully be the record to show that clever, original metal can be produced on this side of the Atlantic.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Darkest Hour - Undoing RuinDarkest Hour - So Sedated, So SecureRise Against - Revolutions Per MinuteRefused - The Shape of Punk to ComeHot Water Music - A Flight and a CrashPropagandhi - Potemkin City LimitsComeback Kid - Wake The DeadAlexisonfire - CrisisConverge - No HeroesPolar Bear Club - The View, The Life [7-inch]

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
crazytoledo (May 19, 2005)

Good album but I can't wait for their upcming release. Gonna buy that in July!

Anonymous (July 20, 2003)

Actually, the original bassist was Raul Mayorga. So you go do your research, fool!

Anonymous (May 25, 2003)

Billups was the original bassist. More research please

soulbleed (May 23, 2003)

did anyone read the review of this on allmusic.com ? hah.

krowdsurf (May 23, 2003)

The arrogance.

Anonymous (May 23, 2003)

you idiot! its not the MIDNIGHT rockers!!!! its just the rockers. plain and simple...get it right fuckface!!!! You all need to bow down to the majesty of tito "muthafuckin" santana!!! arriba!

Anonymous (May 22, 2003)

Haha...yeah i'm going to see Pg99 with Majority Rule and City of Caterpillar on sat in DC...it's their last show...its going to be amazing, these three bands are the best around today..

Anonymous (May 22, 2003)

jimmy "superfly" snucka, brutus the barber beefcake, the midnight rockers(sean michaels, marty genitti), million dollar man ted debiase, demolition, the ultimate warrior, brother love-you guys remember saturday night's main event? those were the days

sickboi (May 22, 2003)

You all need to recognize the greatest b-character of em all (Saturday morning wrestling, anyone?)....The mutha-fucking Brooklyn Brawler.

FortyMinutesWest (May 22, 2003)

You kids better learn to bow down before the majesty of Repo Man.

Anonymous (May 22, 2003)

Doesn't Pg. 99 play a final show like every month or so. I fucking hope they play a final show in FL.

krowdsurf (May 21, 2003)

Hey "dude who knocked me for fucking up Hulk Hogan's move"-
Don't lecture me about wrestling. Shit, I've been watching since back in the old days of Jake "The Snake Man" Robertson and Randy "Macho Man" Savatage. I know EVERYTHING there is to know about wrestling, ever, and I'm very proud of the fact that I devote so much precious time and energy to memorizing the specifics of each wrestler's arsenal of attacks.

waste_elite (May 21, 2003)

"Page 99 are still playing their last few shows...that might be the very last?"

yeah, they're playing their next to last show here in baltimore than i think they are doing the last one the next day in DC.

Anonymous (May 21, 2003)

i comend you on putting up the link to the old review. Good band, i ahvent bought the newest album yet tho.

viceroymonarch (May 21, 2003)

"hulk hogan cant drop a big boot, dumbass. he drops the leg. the leg, fool."

i love you.

FortyMinutesWest (May 21, 2003)

So you're saying you got picked on in highschool by Darkest Hour? That's hilarious..

Anonymous (May 21, 2003)

hulk hogan cant drop a big boot, dumbass. he drops the leg. the leg, fool.

krowdsurf (May 21, 2003)

No I'm not, I was being serious, so there. Just for that comment, I'm going to have my next door neighbor and very good friend who I talk on the phone and hang out with all the time Hulk Hogan come to your house and drop a Big Boot on you. He'll do that, cuz we're best friends....brother.

Anonymous (May 21, 2003)

Name dropper!

krowdsurf (May 21, 2003)

This might earn me the "ignorant comment of the day" award, but it's really hard for me to get into a band when I went to high school with most of them. People here seem to like them though, so maybe I should give them a listen. That way I can say things like "Wow, that dude's a good singer!" instead of "Wow, that's the dude who used to stand RIGHT in the way of my locker after gym class!"

zim_nation (May 20, 2003)

Page 99 are still playing their last few shows...that might be the very last?

Anonymous (May 20, 2003)

hi its jr from less than jake and i....wait, who the fuck is darkest hour? sorry, wrong review.

jr/lessthanjake

FortyMinutesWest (May 20, 2003)

I thought Pg. 99 broke up. Oh, and City of Caterpillar kills. This band is pretty good live, even if their music isn't all that original. I think their guitarists playing guitar behind their heads makes up for it.

Anonymous (May 20, 2003)

Just picked up this Cd.

It gets a 10. Fucking badass.

waste_elite (May 20, 2003)

i'm seeing pg. 99 and city of caterpillar on friday and these guys are on the bill.

we'll see if they're worthwhile.

Anonymous (May 20, 2003)

"As before, most the melodies are carried by Kris Norris, Mike Schleibaum's and Paul Burnette's intricate and light speed guitar and bass work"

Just a small correction, but Kris Norris is relatively new to the band. He did not perform on either of the other full lengths.

sickboi (May 20, 2003)

Hmmm, they were supposed to be in the record store I work in tonight, but it got cancelled or something. They play in RVA tomorrow, should I see them or the Explosion? Suggestions....

astrovince (May 20, 2003)

This album is pretty fuckin' brutal, if a bit repetetive

Anonymous (May 20, 2003)

they're from DC

sk8punx4evr (May 20, 2003)

are they from sweden or just swedish metal influenced? this question has been driving me nutsballs for a while.

Anonymous (May 20, 2003)

"Hidden Hands of an At the Gates Rip Off"

what the fuck is up with Victory Records? their entire current roster should just be referred to as "mini me" by the rest of the music scene.

pope_schlomo (May 20, 2003)

Finally....a good Victory album. Listened to my friend's promo..."Pay Phones and Pills" and "Marching to the Killing Rhythm" rips.

Ramo

FortyMinutesWest (May 20, 2003)

Aubin, you know you're not allowed to like metal on this site!

Anonymous (May 20, 2003)

eh, too bad they play songs clocking over 3 minutes. so what the hell are they doing on this site? (please note sarcasm)....anyways, they fucking go nuts live and the crowd goes apeshit. check em out live.

Anonymous (May 20, 2003)

People on here like this stuff. I think it's pretty cool. Check out the new everytime I die video on ferretstyle.com it's pretty funny shit.

Anonymous (May 20, 2003)

i can't express enough how much i love this band. i've seen them 3 times. the 3rd time they played with shai hulud, the haunted, and kataklysm. it was one of the best shows i've seen in a while (ok except for a strung out show i went to not to long ago). But seriously if anyone likes swedish death metal then check these guys out. i bet not many people on here are going to like them cause they're not punk. i'm actually kinda suprised that a punk rock website would even let anyone review this album on here. oh well it doesn't bother me. by the way if anyone knows any good metal or hardcore sites can u let me know wat they are. thanks

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