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Darkest Hour - Deliver Us (Cover Artwork)

Darkest Hour

Darkest Hour: Deliver UsDeliver Us (2007)
Victory Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


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

Whether influenced by the growing perceived need to categorize and clump similar styles and scenes together, the predominance of young urban intellectual sources like Pitchfork Media and PopMatters, or a foundation as innocent as press kit insistence on including an RIYL, Internet-based music review.
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Whether influenced by the growing perceived need to categorize and clump similar styles and scenes together, the predominance of young urban intellectual sources like Pitchfork Media and PopMatters, or a foundation as innocent as press kit insistence on including an RIYL, Internet-based music reviews have become a dumping ground for name-dropping. Well, the elders that paved the way for Punknews never abided by the status quo, so neither will I. Yeah that's right, fuck name-dropping, I'm going against the grain. Or more realistically, I don't know, nor do I care who Darkest Hour compares to. The latter of such proclamation should testify on the behalf of Darkest Hour's Deliver Us, a metal tour de force that has won over this young punk's heart.

Originally, it was Hidden Hands of a Sadist Nation that first reached out to me, drawing me in with an unbridled yet literate release of outrage, reminiscent of `80s hardcore-to-thrash provocateurs with the urgency of a post-9/11 sense of civil rights deprivation and ongoing war. Two-and-a-half minutes of each song was total bliss. But the songs were sooo long, more than half of them topping out at over five minutes. Undoing Ruin saw a slight trimming down to at least a punk rocker's tolerance, while Deliver Us meets in the middle with a few five-minute standards, but more than enough blistering fast, brutal, and (relatively) short anthems to please the proud and sundry few.

The elegance and expertise of many "extreme" forms of music is often overlooked when confronted with the intentionally repulsive delivery of the final product, a deliciously shrewd "fuck you" to the critics and laymen cast off by their own unwillingness to acclimatize, and in exchange maintaining a smaller but infinitely more devoted coalition. In such an instance, the music of a band like Darkest Hour has to be dissected to be fully analyzed and appreciated (if warranted).

Arguably, the most easily recognizable talent in a Darkest Hour song is the drumming, since it generally precedes any guitar showmanship and is distinctive and intricate enough to stand out. Whether in songs built on rhythms of rolling double-bass terror as in "A Paradox of Flies," traditional metal tempos of "Tunguska," unrepressed hardcore thrashings of "Sanctuary," or any of several tracks that showcase varying rhythms and complex combinations like the album's single "Demon(s)," drummer Ryan Parrish demonstrates a comprehensive mastery of his instrument.

In spite of this, the breathtaking guitarwork on Deliver Us may be the most stirring validation of truly how good Darkest Hour is. Hypertechnical solos highlight almost each track on the album, and range from towering arena rockage like "Tunguska," aimless and haphazard slicing in "Full Imperial Collapse" and even finger-tapping Nintendo-ish solos as in "Doomsayer (The Beginning of the End)." The skill is further proven in a willingness to both incorporate unexpectedly mellow moments like the acoustic intro to "Doomsayer" and furnish relatively minimalist riffs when appropriate like the balls-to-the-wall carnage of "Stand and Receive Your Judgment."

In an interview last fall, Darkest Hour's founder and guitarist Mike Schleibaum discussed the changing nature of the band's once overtly political lyrics to more abstract ideas: "We never set out to be a solely political band so [singer] John [Henry] writes songs about what moves him. Sometimes it's politics and sometimes it's personal shit, you just never know." The varying degrees of substance are certainly evident in Deliver Us, ranging from stylistic and abstract musings like "An Ethereal Drain" to more direct lashings in songs like "Stand and Receive Your Judgment": "Stomp the fire out, tuck your tail and run / Don't move an inch, you war pig fuck / You just stand right there and receive your judgement / And even as I waste these words / On you and your mock reality / You'll still go down in history / See: Stupid spoiled little shit nearly wiped us out / And by the time that you realize the damage you've done / You'll be long fucking gone, you coward, you puppet." While I do prefer the abundance of such upfront dissent like "Stand and Receive Your Judgment" and Hidden Hands of a Sadist Nation, songs like "Full Imperial Collapse," which gives a nod to the band's hardcore upbringings, show that a tactful combination of a more artful style with traditional discord is possible: "When we wake up from our induced slumber / They can try, but they can't conquer us all / Compelling evidence out in the open / There's not even anybody to hide it from / What it looks like on the outside constantly reflects / How we perceive it and it's not always what you think / Knee deep in the belly of the beast offering us / Another cut-rate version of your dream come true."

I could go out on a limb and call this "the metal album of the year," but that might be short-sighted given that I will probably only listen to a handful of metal releases in the next five months. The praise bestowed upon Deliver Us isn't defensible because it's coming from a seasoned metal connoisseur, but rather because it's coming from an outsider with few previous attachments to the genre. Deliver Us has the versatility to meet the demands of critics, with enough skill and precision to wow any listener into becoming a Darkest Hour fan. I'll give it an 8.7/10. Oh wait, we don't play that game? Then let's round up for Darkest Hour progressing to their musical best without letting go of the energy, dissent, and fire that brought them to the front of the pack over 10 years ago.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Descendents - Milo Goes To CollegeComeback Kid - Wake The DeadThis Is Hell - SundowningStrike Anywhere - Exit EnglishThe Loved Ones - Keep Your HeartModern Life Is War - WitnessSet Your Goals - Mutiny!Darkest Hour - Undoing RuinRise Against - Revolutions Per MinuteCrime in Stereo - The Troubled Stateside

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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.
Anonymous (July 27, 2007)

This is a decent release. I'm still partial to Hidden Hands and So Sedated as favorites.

"ummm... are all you people forgetting about how fucking NEUROSIS put out the best metal album of the year?"

Neurosis is amazing, but I just could not get into 'Given to the Rising' for the life of me. It seems like they hit a plateau in their progressive doom. THROUGH SILVER IN BLOOD, TIMES OF GRACE, and ENEMY OF THE SUN are classics but the new one just doesn't do it for me.

Metal album of the year goes to OBSIDIAN!!

-contra

Albert_Belle (July 27, 2007)

Their last 2 releases are their most impessive, or at least in my humble opinion. They've droped alot of their hardcore sound, and turned up the metal, a very wise decision. I like their older albums, but this is just better.

Xithyl (July 27, 2007)

This band is a shell of it's former self. Everythng up until Hidden Hands was very good despite being At The Gates worship from start to finish. But with the last record and this one, the band has become "poppier" and lost the interesting edge that once made them great. There are a few tracks that sound like older material, but as a whole this is a weak effort.

Anonymous (July 26, 2007)

Ah, so maybe you shouldn't have said that they were just doing the same thing over, and over again if you've only been "subjected" to a few of their albums. Go spout off your ignorance elsewhere.

Anonymous (July 26, 2007)

I really like Darkest Hour, i like the lyrics, the screaming and well, everything about Darkest hour (my favourite album is Deliver Us.)
Darkest Hour is the ultimate Metalcore/Melodic Deathmetal.

elephantdwarf (July 26, 2007)

i think i said every bad religion album I'VE HEARD sounds the same. again, i don't go out of my way to listen to a band i dislike. so from what i know, they don't sound any different.

Anonymous (July 26, 2007)

All Bad Religion albums sound the same? Riiiight, How Could Hell Be Any Worse and Process Of Belief sound exactly the same :)

elephantdwarf (July 26, 2007)

"Did you say "nOOb"? hahaha what a fag.

You can always tell when someone's opinion doesn't count."

oh and i think this person discredited themselves right there with the last word in that first line.

elephantdwarf (July 26, 2007)

see... saying that one band is better than another one is all an opinion anyways. i can't stand bad religion's music. and you're putting words into my fingertips when you say i gave a definition of what "punk" should be. "punk" shouldn't be anything in particular. some people don't like blink 182 and i understand that. i personally think they were a really good simple pop band. and at least they sounded a little different with each record. all the bad religion records i've been subjected to sounded the same to me.

Anonymous (July 26, 2007)

Punk should be just be fun, poppy, and radio friendly, that's what it's all about? Sorry, BR is still better than Blink. Ha ha! I mean, is it really even a contest?

branden (July 26, 2007)

this album is pretty good, but it doesnt quite grab me. i liked the last one better.

elephantdwarf (July 26, 2007)

actually its more like... one was a fun, poppy band that knew that's what it was and didn't try to act like it was anything more. and the other band is a tired, boring, rehashed version of its own older albums that should have broke up years ago.

Anonymous (July 26, 2007)

Yes, very different bands. One is for adolescent teenage girls, and the other is for people with intelligence. I'll let you guess what band falls under which category. Sidenote, this album rules.

elephantdwarf (July 26, 2007)

and the fact on the debate between blink 182 and bad religion still going on is stupid. they're both obviously completely different types of bands, so comparing them is stupid.

elephantdwarf (July 26, 2007)

"blink-182 thinks you're wrong. why? because you IS wrong. oooh gramar eror!"

actually... i was correct with saying "is" and not "are". blink 182 is a singular band, however if i was to say something about the combined members in the group i would have to say "the members of blink 182 are"

Albert_Belle (July 25, 2007)

Alright, Bad Religion is most definitely better than Blink 182, even without Brett they were still twice the band that Blink was. And my vote for metal album of the year goes to Megadeth for United Abominations. This album's still great, almost a perfect metal album.

Anonymous (July 25, 2007)

"i said it because blink 182 IS better than bad religion"

blink-182 thinks you're wrong. why? because you IS wrong. oooh gramar eror!

Phoenixrising (July 25, 2007)

Did you say "nOOb"? hahaha what a fag.

You can always tell when someone's opinion doesn't count.

Anonymous (July 25, 2007)

Who cares whether this is album of the year, or metal album of the year. This is still a really solid record, and is probably up there with Mark of the Judas.

That being said, a Neurosis or Cephalic Carnage review would be neat.

elephantdwarf (July 25, 2007)

"I'm glad they don't need makeup, stupid-haircuts, or gimmicks... this is the real deal metal, kiddos."

ummmm.... i'd consider black metal pretty 'real deal metal'.

elephantdwarf (July 25, 2007)

i said it because blink 182 IS better than bad religion. and that wouldn't weigh in on my opinion of decent METAL anyways. n00b.

Phoenixrising (July 25, 2007)

Some dude below said Blink182 > Bad Religion.

Automatic opinion disqualification. Hilarious.

Anonymous (July 25, 2007)

I'm glad they don't need makeup, stupid-haircuts, or gimmicks... this is the real deal metal, kiddos.

elephantdwarf (July 25, 2007)

ummm... are all you people forgetting about how fucking NEUROSIS put out the best metal album of the year?

Kursk (July 25, 2007)

oh and I've also noticed, that several people seem to think that this is the metal album of the year from reading through all the comments. Sorry but you are incorrect.

That would be The Red CHord - Prey For Eyes. Score is for THAT album

Kursk (July 25, 2007)

So much better than Undoing Ruin.

Hidden Hands, So Sedated, and Mark of the Judas are still their best albums though.

Torgo (July 25, 2007)

Hey, I'm a busy man, I can't waste my time downloading DH!!!11212two

Anonymous (July 25, 2007)

"I wasn't going to download this album, I just might now..."

haha how much is that gonna set you back? let's hope youre not disappointed or you might want your five minutes of downloading back.

Anonymous (July 25, 2007)

good record but we all know metal album of the year will be a tie between the new dekapitator and high on fire

Torgo (July 25, 2007)

Top notch review, Blacklung. I wasn't going to download this album, I just might now...

Anchors (July 25, 2007)

I'll be honest, I've barely read any of the reviews here (or anywhere on the internet at all) this year, so I don't know of any of your other reviews offhand to compare this too, but this was extremely well written.

Great job man.

Anonymous (July 25, 2007)

Canned cheese has never been very appealing to me, I'll stick with metal.

otter (July 25, 2007)

Metal or Cheese Whiz?

Laurier (July 24, 2007)

Ok rip-off of better Swedish Metal

Anonymous (July 24, 2007)

good review duderino, you fnially found a metal album u like (no strung out does not count)

Anonymous (July 24, 2007)

it's not fucking metalcore!!! know your shit before you talk shit!

Laurier (July 24, 2007)

Above average generic metalcore it's good but not album of the year material.

Anonymous (July 24, 2007)

Scolarx, please tell me you're joking! JFAC put out one of the most bland death metal albums I can think of. They're not as bad as people say they are, but there is nothing to their music.

jbright (July 24, 2007)

potentially the best cd of 2007. it is so far.

rkl (July 24, 2007)

this album is pretty damned metaltastic.

skolarx (July 24, 2007)

i really like this album but don't see it beating jobforacowboy for metal album of the year

elephantdwarf (July 24, 2007)

good point. and i agree that these days the circle of goodness in the metal community is very, very small.

punkgato (July 24, 2007)

predictable taste doesn't really mean anything, so what if bands that are ACTUALLY good are in vogue right now in VERY small circles! Neurosis, Pig Destroyer,Akimbo, High On Fire, etc straight up flatten watered down rehash like Darkest Hour! The fact is, if you enjoy Darkest Hour or their VERY popular peers, that's great...but calling this metal album of the year would be like saying the same thing for Metal Church in 1989! I'm fairly certain no one really thinks this anywhere near that ballpark!

elephantdwarf (July 24, 2007)

how is it predictable? i like such a broad spectrum of stuff. that was just what i'd consider better 'metal' albums released in 2007.

Anonymous (July 24, 2007)

Undoing Ruin > Deliver Us
This record is really great and all, but it has a few songs that don't stand out enough when you could tell each song from the other very easily on Undoing Ruin.

Big_Guy (July 24, 2007)

the person below me has such a predictable taste in music.

very good taste, but so predictable

elephantdwarf (July 24, 2007)

"Best Metal Album of 2007."

how broad of a spectrum are you giving 'metal' there? cause i can name a bunch of better records that might be considered 'metal' depending on what you are considering that came out this year.

NEUROSIS 'Given to the Rising'

Pig Destroyer 'Phantom Limb', Achilles 'Hospices', Engineer 'The Dregs', Trap Them 'Sleepwell Deconstructor', Cephalic Carnage 'Xenosapien', Coliseum 'No Salvation', Nile 'Ithyphallic', Watain 'Sworn to the Dark'

just to name a few.

and i'm pretty sure the new Akimbo, High On Fire, Today Is The Day, Cursed, Baroness, and Skeletonwitch records will be better than this.

Anonymous (July 24, 2007)

what is metal denbenz? please enlighten us as to what real metal is, because I find it difficult to believe that someone who likes Daughters would also like good metal music.

crazytoledo (July 24, 2007)

Best Metal Album of 2007.

elephantdwarf (July 24, 2007)

"bad religion toured with blink 182 does that mean that blink 182 is as good as bad religion?"

no. blink 182 is and has always been a better band than bad religion.

and fucking kudos to the kid that was making fun of JFAC down there. that band fucking sucks. however, i do like this darkest hour record. i realize there's much more 'extreme' or blahblahblah records out there. but sometimes i'm okay with a well done smoothed out version of metal.

colin (July 24, 2007)

this album fucking slays. so good.

Anonymous (July 24, 2007)

bad religion toured with blink 182 does that mean that blink 182 is as good as bad religion?

ps album rules

denbez (July 24, 2007)

"I'm sure he likes Job For A Cowboy as well."

Hahahahahahaha! Looks like somebody hasn't checked who Darkest Hour is touring with!

Liking JFAC puts you firmly in the potential DH fanbase, a perfect example of the kind of ridiculous trash people will think is good metal if they've got no experience in the genre.

WhiteCollar (July 24, 2007)

If you don't know who darkest hour compares to, then you're not really fit to review a metal album of this type.

well, that was more an exaggeration than anything to stress the attractiveness of this even for those who aren't devout metalheads. you would have to be pretty unaware to not being able to compare Darkest Hour to At the Gates or In Flames...or uh, Avenged Sevenfold, right guys?

fair enough...i see i took it too literally...not the first time my over abundance of cockiness has made me look stupid

Anonymous (July 24, 2007)

Better than Undoing Ruin, this album has more staying power.

GlassPipeMurder (July 24, 2007)

If you don't know who darkest hour compares to, then you're not really fit to review a metal album of this type.

well, that was more an exaggeration than anything to stress the attractiveness of this even for those who aren't devout metalheads. you would have to be pretty unaware to not being able to compare Darkest Hour to At the Gates or In Flames...or uh, Avenged Sevenfold, right guys?

Anonymous (July 24, 2007)

Way overrated. Very anticipated.

ihateallofyou (July 24, 2007)

mark of the judas is their best

WhiteCollar (July 24, 2007)

I haven't heard the album, but about the review...

If you don't know who darkest hour compares to, then you're not really fit to review a metal album of this type. It's all great if you're stoked on this band and love the album, but how can you really comment on the quality if you have nothing to base your judgement system on?

Anonymous (July 24, 2007)

I don't feel the drumming merits any special praise. Obviously, its good, and more than competent, but not spectacular. For spectacular, try the new Behemoth record.

punkgato (July 24, 2007)

This band is unfortunately still rehashing Slaughter of The Soul, slowly watering it down with mild clean vocals in an attempt to be commercially viable. What's the point really, kids that like middle of the road melodic deathmetalcore will buy this in droves, but this band will continue to linger in the middle! By the way...the metal album of the year is Pig Destroyer's Phantom Limb, which this record couldn't touch with a ten foot pole!!!

Anonymous (July 24, 2007)

hah metalcore...are there still people listening to this crap??

RiseAgainstAllAuthority (July 24, 2007)

"The elegance and expertise of many “extreme” forms of music is often overlooked when confronted with the intentionally repulsive delivery of the final product"

Great line.

Anonymous (July 24, 2007)

This is your worst review yet. You suck at English, please stop.

burningfeeetman (July 24, 2007)

This review pretty much said exactly what I think about this band and this record. I really liked Hidden Hands, but I just couldn't get that into it. Undoing Ruin is the kind of cd I can listen to over and over again, and this one is about on par with that one. "Stand and Receive Your Judgement" kicks such a huge amount of ass I can't even believe it.

So yeah, great band, great cd.

AlmostPunkENough (July 24, 2007)

why do i always notice typos as i hit Post? goddamnit.

AlmostPunkENough (July 24, 2007)

and audio ass-kicking in the best way possible. and pretty smart on top of that. i can't imagine this not being in my top 5 at the end of the year.

Anonymous (July 24, 2007)

Excellent review for one of the best alums of the year...
1.Undoing Ruin
2.Deliver Us
3.Sadist Nation
4.Mark of Judas
5.So Sedated,So Secure

Anonymous (July 24, 2007)

great review dude. i need this record.

Anonymous (July 24, 2007)

Great album, ignore the douche below who's about as metal as, well As I lay Dying. I'm sure he likes Job For A Cowboy as well.

denbez (July 24, 2007)

This is an As I Lay Dying-calibur test of whether you should be reviewing a metal album. If you listen to it and think "oh my God, this is fucking trash!" then you should. If you listen to it and think "awesome!" then you most emphatically shouldn't.

Albert_Belle (July 24, 2007)

This album has such an epic feel to it, much more so than Undoing Ruin, which was a great album. The more I listen to this one, the more I realize how amazing it is. I love all the guitar solos, it's a lost art in metal now days, which is a damn shame. It's not Rust In Peace or Master Of Puppets, but it's definitely one album I'll be listening to for a long while.

Anonymous (July 24, 2007)

There's more out there than just orgcore guys. Ugh.

DFelon204409 (July 24, 2007)

post script: it's getting a lot of positive attention though

DFelon204409 (July 24, 2007)

ya good review, too bad this band isnt very good

Anonymous (July 24, 2007)

good review. like this band

Anonymous (July 23, 2007)

very good record glad to see undoing ruin was just a fluke.

feeeding5000 (July 23, 2007)

Best review ever. Well written, to the point of making sense, and doesn;'t go the easy way out (like I always do) and just go, "band X meets band Y".

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