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Darkest Hour - Undoing Ruin (Cover Artwork)

Darkest Hour

Darkest Hour: Undoing RuinUndoing Ruin (2005)
Victory Records

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:


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

When an upcoming album is labeled as "the best album of the decade" or "the best since Slaughter Of The Soul," it makes you think; is this just clever marketing, or is this the real deal? Just one listen to Darkest Hour's Undoing Ruin will leave you completely sure that the second is true. Once ever.

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When an upcoming album is labeled as "the best album of the decade" or "the best since Slaughter Of The Soul," it makes you think; is this just clever marketing, or is this the real deal? Just one listen to Darkest Hour's Undoing Ruin will leave you completely sure that the second is true. Once every few years, an album is released that is way ahead of everything else in the genre; that becomes an instant classic, and Undoing Ruin is that album. In 2003, the band traveled to Sweden to record Hidden Hands Of A Sadist Nation in the legendary Studio Fredman with producer Fredrick Nordström, an album that solidified their name in the ever-growing world of Gothenburg-style metal. For Undoing Ruin the band recorded in Vancouver with Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad), a choice that couldn't have been more fitting for where the band is in 2005.

The first track, "With A Thousand Words To Say But One," kicks off and right away you notice that a lot has changed in the two years. Gone is the hardcore-tinged wall of metal brutality that Darkest Hour became known for, and in is a new, much more developed sound. It's clear that the songs are now more dynamic and evolved; they seem more structured and focused, and the two guitarists, Kris Norris and Mike Schleibaum, work in perfect tandem with each other and the rest of the band. Also in this first track it is easy to notice a degree of melody, as well as somewhat of a toned down approach at times, both changes that add new depth to a sound that most people didn't know could take such change.

The second track, "Convalescence," (which the band recently made a video for), continues along in the melodic vain, with vocalist John Henry adding in some spoken lyrics in the chorus. The song is somewhat reminiscent of older Dark Tranquility, and then it hits you like a wall of bricks: There are guitar solos on this album! And with that, Undoing Ruin is in full gear and ready to kick you down to the ground and not let you back up for a solid 40 minutes of blistering metal.

All this talk of melody and a toned down sound should not mislead you; this is still the Darkest Hour of old, heavy and fast as ever. "This Will Outlive Us" opens with a fast, shredding intro before moving into a full out thrash assault reminding us why we starting liking this band in the first place. "Sound The Surrender" brings the band back to its Gothenburg roots, bringing forth the clear influence of past bands such as At The Gates. The track is followed by a short, acoustic instrumental, "Pathos," which adds wonders to the overall flow and dynamic of the album. Norris shines on this track, with an acoustic riff accented perfectly (not overpowered at all) by the drumming.

In listening to Undoing Ruin this far, you really get the impression that this is the evolution of a band out of the whole metalcore thing, and into its own unique brand of metal. "District Divided" brings forth the only real hardcore-influenced sound on the album, due in large part to Henry's vocals. "Paradise" features again spoken lyrics in the chorus, a great addition to a great song. And with that brings the band's epic closer, the six-and-a-half minute "Tranquil." There couldn't be a more fitting way to end the album. It starts off somewhat slow, with huge attention to melody and song structure. But soon enough it picks up, and crushes you like the Darkest Hour of old.

I only have good things to say about Undoing Ruin. John Henry has a great metal scream, and one that he can vary to fit beautifully in all settings, showing huge growth as a vocalist. The guitar-work is excellent, featuring intricately woven melodies between the Norris/Schleibaum tandem, as well as many memorable riffs and solos. And you can't forget about the drumming. You are constantly bombarded by the double bass and powerful blast beats of Ryan Parrish, who, along with Paul Burnette, account for one tight rhythm section.

The production on this album is outstanding, easily one of Townsend's best works. It is blantantly clear that this is no ordinary metal release; this is something special. This is the type of album that bands will draw influence from, and in ten years people will be talking about the huge impact Undoing Ruin has had on the evolution of metal music. Not owning this album will put you behind the metal eight ball for years to come. The best since Slaughter Of The Soul? This is one reviewer who definitely agrees. We might as well jump straight to 2006, cause we've got our album of the year right here. Congratulations Darkest Hour.

[originally written for TheHardcoreReport]

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Comeback Kid - Wake The DeadDarkest Hour - Hidden Hands of a Sadist NationRise Against - Revolutions Per MinuteProtest the Hero - KeziaA Wilhelm Scream - RuinerDeath By Stereo - Day of the DeathMastodon - LeviathanComeback Kid - Turn It AroundRefused - The Shape of Punk to ComeHot Water Music - A Flight and a Crash

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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.
WhiteThrash (November 24, 2006)

good stuff

Snakes (August 18, 2006)

overated?! i read revolver and outburn magazines, and this albulm has been barely mentioned,these guys aren't the least bit overated

Romeo-A-GoGo (April 26, 2006)

i liked the albulm, but i got to say that its overrated :{

Anonymous (January 17, 2006)

this album isn't exactly groundbreaking or extremely origional, but boy is it catchy. one of the best metal/hardcore/metalcore releases of the year. this is the album as i lay dying failed to make with "shadows are security"

CherryColaRain (October 16, 2005)

Amazing album. One of my best buys this year. Although I must say its now more than ever that I realize how much Darkest Hour's screams resemble Converge's.

Anonymous (September 26, 2005)

this is my 2nd favorite album of this year
this will outlive us in so awesome...the whole cd is...i love their lyrics-i just want to take you where our time won't waste anymore, through the mountains on the water we'll stay engulfed in one another, and when i can wake up to see the sunrise in your eyes, then we'll finally be free and i'll know i've made it home....this cd is so sick...goosebumps

Anonymous (September 17, 2005)

torment, you are fucking elitist faggot

I fucked your dad

Anonymous (July 21, 2005)

sound of surrender is not one of the better tracks in my opinion. i dont know but maybe you should try out some other songs like this will outlive us and the sadist nation.

Anonymous (July 20, 2005)

Hahahah punk faggots, go rate your gay punk instead of trying to rate metal, you dont know shit lol

Torment (July 20, 2005)

Man im so sick of all these little punk faggots or hardcore wannabes listening to music and not knowing a damn thing, oh im gonna sit here and criticize music because i dont know what real music is, fuck all that shit, go back to your craptastic vocalist bullshit punk. good fucking game

Cheesetits (July 9, 2005)

Overrated? You have got to be kidding me. Have you even listened to "Hidden Hands...."? Sure theres better drummers, theres always better, but the dude is still pretty sweet, he never fucking lets up. Anyways, this is a great cd, but I think I like "Hidden Hands..." better. Still a rad album though.

Anonymous (July 3, 2005)

This band has what may be the most over-rated drummer of all time. I can't think of a Swedish metal band (or a ripoff thereof) that DOESN'T have a drummer better than Darkest Hour's. He's always just sounded sort of lethargic and not that forceful on the skins. Grab the new Black Dahlia Murder for some GOOD "metal" drumming.

Anonymous (July 3, 2005)

and metal is shitty even if they wear "better" clothes they can fuck off...hey metal sissies piss off

GreenVandal (July 2, 2005)

Metalcore isnt a real genre. Its just metal dudes with more fashion sense. Stop using that term. jchdgvxcfbhgvjbhjxzfdbvhj
vbxbgvczhvijlzxcfnvjklnhjvgkld
vdnbxh jvbzchjgvbnjklc
cfnfjkvbhjzcbnjkc
vbjkvjkzxcfnvzxdfnvnvbjkcvnbj kxcvn

Corecorecorecorecorecoreoreroco eofoer

...................

Internet terets?

Anyfuck, this doesnt suck. But its metal. Thats all really.

Anonymous (July 2, 2005)

this cd is awesome...
but the reviewer sounded like he knew shit all about darkest hours previous songs...

i never thought of them as metal core... just black metal, i guess i'm wrong

Anonymous (July 2, 2005)

Fuck this.
Listen to Pig destroyer.

---Travis.

Anonymous (July 2, 2005)

Gimme some Manowar over this any day.

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

cd is insane.....

Jesse (July 1, 2005)

Now just because something sucks doesn't mean that it's not technically talented. Take a look at Yngwie Malmsteen. Nobody's debating whether or not the guy can shred.

I just listened to "Sound the Surrender." What I got was cut-rate metalcore with power metal. This shit is basically wannabe thrash and shitty, shitty power metal breakdowns. And power metal is the most laughable genre in the world. Besides, there's no reason to listen to any other band than DragonForce if you're going to listen to power metal.

If I want to listen to metal, I'll grab Sabbath, High On Fire, Slayer's "Reign In Blood," or something else, but I guarantee you – it won't be anything that was ever released by Victory.

crazytoledo (July 1, 2005)

Anyone buy the CD and watch the Victory Show Episode 3. Aiden release going to be cool but pushed back to October, but anyways:

The New A Perfect Murder is TERRIBLE! The new singer sucks, especially the clean parts...

sickboi (July 1, 2005)

See Jesse, here's the quarrel. If you don't like something, you don't like it. Fine. But saying something like this "sucks", is absurd. Definately not album of the decade, or year, or even month, but this is some talented shit. Everything from the riffs, to chord progression is amazing. The melody ties everything in better than most metal albums I've heard in a long time.

My point you ask? There is a difference between "not my style" and "this sucks", choose your words wisely.

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

shut up you gay alternative mtv rocker...go and suck curt cobains rotten dick

Jesse (July 1, 2005)

"But when I see some of the lame-ass, bitch-baby indie-rock you like, you come off so fucking wack."

Hey, I like what I like. Be it Slayer's Reign In Blood or Belle and Sebastian's "If You're Feeling Sinister," I've never been one to limit myself in any one or another genre. Last night I was listening to Scientist's "…Rids The World of the Curse of the Evil Vampires" while right now I've been thinking of throwing on some Bob Dylan. Maybe after that some Minor Threat or Das Oath. How about Coliseum or Akimbo or Lords? Public Enemy? Mos Def?

The main thing is: shit music is shit music, and we don't have to agree on what we all like, but if we can all come together and agree on what we despise, I think the world would be a better place and labels like Victory will be run into the ground.

sickboi (July 1, 2005)

Jesse's opinion is becoming more and more worthless. You bag on a lot of things, some of which I agree with. But when I see some of the lame-ass, bitch-baby indie-rock you like, you come off so fucking wack.

Jesse (July 1, 2005)

This shit sucks.

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

i will never understand how people dig these vocals... i love this kinda music and i d/l every new darkest hour cd hoping the vocals have improved/changed....but no..
i know i'm in the minority here because tomas lindberg is so venerated and i think he sucks ass... i gotta listen to slaughter of the soul karaoke style..
that's my 2 cents

alexwank

Anonymous (July 1, 2005)

metalheads we“ll beat you up, stay away from hardcore
-the hardcore army

notfeelingcreative (June 30, 2005)

Maybe they'll tour with Kylesa again so I can leave early!!!Honestly darkest hour aren't bad, I enjoyed their set at plea for peace. I just couldn't take the between the buried and me kids.

bizzlebrizzle (June 30, 2005)

I will say that their vocals are some of the most enjoyable that I've heard on a band like this.

bizzlebrizzle (June 30, 2005)

The track Convalescence is shitty.

bizzlebrizzle (June 30, 2005)

lamb of god>>>>>>>>>this band

oh and metal alum of the year is the nw black dahila murder

Lamb of God is atrocious.

I can't think of a worthwile metal album of the year.

bizzlebrizzle (June 30, 2005)

I'm listening right now, so far it sounds good, kinda poppy though.

Anonymous (June 30, 2005)

lamb of god>>>>>>>>>this band

oh and metal alum of the year is the nw black dahila murder

BEAARTHUR (June 30, 2005)

I'm impressed. I used to listen to metal in the late-80's early 90's, and there hasn't been a metal album that I've liked this much since Megadeth's Rust in Peace.

I thought Mastodon's Leviathan might have been the album to get me back into metal, but it's like sloppy black sabbath compared to these guys. 8/10 since I haven't heard it enough times yet.

SkolarX (June 30, 2005)

i heard that one the DEP/ Heads Will Roll tour these guys were totally cheesy and constantly yelling " are you ready for some fucking metal!?!" with the devil horns up and shit like that. i suspose if you want to me maiden thats a good start.

this cd blows the last 2 out of the fucking water and edges out the first album.

Anonymous (June 30, 2005)

this band hasn't gone anywhere! And this is coming from a fan.

Dude, you're obviously either trolling or simply haven't heard the record. This is leaps beyond Sadist Hands. Their sound is more evolved, the songwriting more varied, there's lots more shredding, etc.

"Album of the decade" it is not, but it's far from a disappointment.

Anonymous (June 30, 2005)

you heard one metalcore band, you heard them all. boring.

Anonymous (June 30, 2005)

you heard one metalcore band, you heard them all. boring.

iamfuckyou (June 30, 2005)

a severely misused at the gates point of reference.

bizzlebrizzle (June 29, 2005)

victory has become a metal label, download stuff from them dont buy anything..fuck off you metal and emo corporate whores

Most of the shit they've put out has been metal dudes, there have been very few hardcore bands on victory!

Anonymous (June 29, 2005)

Wow. You sir are an idiot. I will bet you 300 dollars that no one will remember this album 10 years from now. I think it's a decent album but it's obvious you don't listen to much metal because otherwise you would know this album is really nothing special.

Anonymous (June 29, 2005)

Oh my gawd this is soo hardcore

-BSD

GreenVandal (June 29, 2005)

Good album. But album of the decade? I fucking hate shit like this. Go shoot yourself. Hype hype hype hype....

Anonymous (June 29, 2005)

This is NOT the album of the decade, so shut the fuck up already. If this is the album of the decade, then so was Sadist Nation, because this band hasn't gone anywhere! And this is coming from a fan.

Anonymous (June 29, 2005)

victory has become a metal label, download stuff from them dont buy anything..fuck off you metal and emo corporate whores

Punks_Not_Punk (June 29, 2005)

Darkest Hour rocks my fucking face off.

They are every bit amazing live too.

crazytoledo (June 29, 2005)

http://www.victoryrecords.com/DHReviews.asp

Its pointing here...

soulbleed (June 29, 2005)

darkest hour is probably the worst metalcore band of them all. this album sucks.

Anonymous (June 29, 2005)

It's every bit as relevent, if not more so, than the Transplants review.

Anonymous (June 29, 2005)

Fuck metal.

Fuck You

CherryColaRain (June 29, 2005)

Amazing. This album is truly amazing. And it's a refreshing change to see that not all bands get hated on just because they belong to a label with a bad reputation such as Victory.

Anonymous (June 29, 2005)

Fuck metal.

Kenjamin (June 29, 2005)

i thought this band sucked but i guess all these people can't be wrong so i'll download it. You hear me Tony? You make no money.

bizzlebrizzle (June 29, 2005)

metal again...when will this stop

Nothing wrong with metal, there's something wrong with metal bands pretending to be hardcore bands though.

Anonymous (June 29, 2005)

metal again...when will this stop

Anonymous (June 29, 2005)

i love this cd but "hidden hands..." will always take the cake.

Anonymous (June 28, 2005)

great cd. gay review.

Bryne (June 28, 2005)

Very good album.

mikeinflames (June 28, 2005)

great album

but i hate how victory overhypes all of thier releases

i love darkest hour and i love this album
but i highly doubt anyone will remember it in 10 years

compairing this to at the gates is just wrong

ElVaquero (June 28, 2005)

This review actually made me NOT want to listen to the album but since pastepunk likes it, it's probably pretty decent. I'll find out.

Anonymous (June 28, 2005)

(for the review)

This guy must be a label plant. This album is pretty good but don't believe what he says. Totally ridiculous. This is an above-average imitation Swedish metalcore record, nothing more. Label employees and fanboys need not post reviews.

Anonymous (June 28, 2005)

I won't be checking this out. their other albums just flat out suck. Give it up will ya

civperc (June 28, 2005)

This album definitely deserves its 5 star rating. Upon listening to Undoing Ruin, I was blown away. The hype had me questioning the release, as the reviewing mentioned, however all doubts were extinguished and I've been thoroughly enjoying the release for a few days now. Major props to DH, you guys really outdid yourselves.

*factoid* - they went to my rival high school, Robinson. I remember getting a homemade flyer for one of their first shows way long ago in the late 90's. Very cool to see how far they've come.

inagreendase (June 28, 2005)

Learn how to correctly use a semicolon, please.

I altered/inserted all these semicolons, and they're all used properly. Which sentence are you referring to in particular?

Anchors (June 28, 2005)

Well don't I feel dumb.

I didn't even see that at the bottom.

punkcorekid (June 28, 2005)

and no offense that hardcore report website has an awful site design, and there are no hardcore bands covered.

punkcorekid (June 28, 2005)

http://www.punknews.org/reviews.php?op=albumreview&id=3013

Ha wthorne Heights got a 1, and Brian would have probably given it less than that if he could have. I've never understood the arguement that all we give is good reviews. Reviews submitted by regular users are usually high, because it's a fan reviewing an album they like, but with Staff it's pretty even.

And Jesse gets shit alllllll the time for giving bands bad 1's and bad reviews. So that right there makes your point moot.

hey anchors....i think they were talking about 'the hardcore report' - the site the review was originally written for.

Anonymous (June 28, 2005)

My only problem with this CD is that because of the hype, most cynics will not give an honest chance to what is otherwise a phenomenal record.

Not "album of the decade" but definitely the best I've seen from Victory in a looooooong time.

Oh, yeah, "fuck Hawthorne Heights" or whatever.

Anonymous (June 28, 2005)

The score is for reading that one of the heirs to Walmart died in a plane crash. I wonder if the plane crashed because the parts were imported from China. That would be funny as hell. One down, three to go!

Anonymous (June 28, 2005)

Learn how to correctly use a semicolon, please.

Anchors (June 28, 2005)

http://www.punknews.org/reviews.php?op=albumreview&id=3013

Ha wthorne Heights got a 1, and Brian would have probably given it less than that if he could have. I've never understood the arguement that all we give is good reviews. Reviews submitted by regular users are usually high, because it's a fan reviewing an album they like, but with Staff it's pretty even.

And Jesse gets shit alllllll the time for giving bands bad 1's and bad reviews. So that right there makes your point moot.

crazytoledo (June 28, 2005)

score is for not using CrazyToledo's review

You would have gotten a near carbon copy of that review, each had the same opinions...

theundergroundscene (June 28, 2005)

this review sucks

this cd is pretty good but not a 10

maybe a 6.5

it gets kinda boring after the 3rd song

Anonymous (June 28, 2005)

"i dont trust this review because the site its from has never given a bad review. the worst its done is given hawthorne heights an "A for effort"

haha!
i'll give you that. the other reviewers are quite generous wtih their reviews. this is my first for our site. and dude, this album is incredible.

Anonymous (June 28, 2005)

score is for not using CrazyToledo's review. Thank fuck for that! Buying this tomorrow, I'm stoked.

pastepunk (June 28, 2005)

Killer album, no doubt about it. I honestly fail to see how anyone who likes heavy music could buy this and not be satisfied with the purchase. The guitarwork is simply amazing.

Anonymous (June 28, 2005)

whew..........

thats a WHOLE LOTTA HYPE

good record but my life has not been changed as a result of listening to it. You may wanna tone down the hype gushing next time there fella

Barkley

punkcorekid (June 28, 2005)

i want to hear this.

the new evergreen terrace does suck.

Anonymous (June 28, 2005)

score is for Gwar

bizzlebrizzle (June 28, 2005)

By the way, the new Evergreen Terrace record sucks!

bizzlebrizzle (June 28, 2005)

my review on my site calls this for best of 2005 and a future metal band influence album...

kill revolver fdor having slipknot as a band of the year top 5 and then giving this cd 2 1/2 out of 5

Influence band? They're not doing anything very creative here at all, they're still ripping off bands that came before them.

crazytoledo (June 28, 2005)

on a side note, no evergreen terrace or manntis reviews man. that sucks because those are two great cds...

heres for hoping towards friday!

Anonymous (June 28, 2005)

this album is not bad, but not the greatest in the sdecade as victory had shamefully coined it as......

crazytoledo (June 28, 2005)

my review on my site calls this for best of 2005 and a future metal band influence album...

kill revolver fdor having slipknot as a band of the year top 5 and then giving this cd 2 1/2 out of 5

Anonymous (June 28, 2005)

When was darkest hour ever considered metalcore? You could possibly say they were when they were still ripping off damnation ad but Everything including and after mark of the judas is straight up metal.

Big_Guy (June 28, 2005)

I give it a 9. This is overhyped though.

bizzlebrizzle (June 28, 2005)

i dont trust this review because the site its from has never given a bad review. the worst its done is given hawthorne heights an "A for effort"
this is deffianately the most overhyped release of the decade. even if it is good, there is no way it can live up to the expectations it has set up for itself.

Also the fact that they call themselves TheHardcoreReport but don't cover a single hardcore band.

Anonymous (June 28, 2005)

believe the review. this album is the shit.

Anonymous (June 28, 2005)

i dont trust this review because the site its from has never given a bad review. the worst its done is given hawthorne heights an "A for effort"
this is deffianately the most overhyped release of the decade. even if it is good, there is no way it can live up to the expectations it has set up for itself.

bizzlebrizzle (June 28, 2005)

I doubt this can live up to Slaughter of the Soul but I'll give it a listen just in case...

I definitely KNOW this probably isn't the best record of the decade though.

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