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Darkest Hour - The Eternal Return (Cover Artwork)

Darkest Hour

Darkest Hour: The Eternal ReturnThe Eternal Return (2009)
Victory Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


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

I got on the Darkest Hour bandwagon pretty late. The first time I heard them was "Sound the Surrender" from PROTECT: A Benefit for the National Association to Protect Children. Usually, I wouldn't have given a band of that ilk a chance, but I'd heard sufficient good things, and to this day, I'm very.
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I got on the Darkest Hour bandwagon pretty late. The first time I heard them was "Sound the Surrender" from PROTECT: A Benefit for the National Association to Protect Children. Usually, I wouldn't have given a band of that ilk a chance, but I'd heard sufficient good things, and to this day, I'm very happy about that. So, despite not being too up on the wealth of material on offer, even I was a little gutted when Kris Norris announced his departure from the band. Reading various reviews and user comments, it seemed that the guys from D.C. were going to struggle to extend their long-running trend of releasing solid stuff.

Which goes some way to explaining why this review is so late. The first thing I noticed about The Eternal Return is that the much-discussed melodic vocals from John Henry had not made the jump from Deliver Us. The second thing I noticed is that there was an apparent lack of variety. Both of these initial reactions lead me to believe that the prevailing fears of the new lineup were all justified; the whole disc came off rather bland. However, nine months later, I can confidently say that The Eternal Return is well up there with anything Darkest Hour have ever done.

Intentional or not, the lack of variety and melodic vocals has allowed the ascension to a level of aggression never seen before from the band. And it's so addictive. "Devolution of Flesh" is a fucking haymaker of an opener that is easily amongst the best stuff DH have done. "Bitter" is a 1-minute-17-second slab of fury and speed, whilst "No God" comes off as pure, uncut rage with the addition of some tasty solos. For the less bulged-vein of tastes, there's "Blessed Infection", which features some of the most melodic work on the album, and "Transcendence"--which contains the only clean guitar to be seen. Make no mistake, every track is killer. What The Eternal Return delivers has been well done, but rarely done so well.

Whilst maybe coming off a little more generic and straightforward than recent work, The Eternal Return may be Darkest Hour's most aptly named LP yet. Rest assured, this is definitely a case of one step back and three steps forward and I fully expect more great shit from the boys.

 

 
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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.
LeightonESmith (March 21, 2010)

I didn't really like this as much as their other stuff. 2003-2005 was their golden period. I'll have to go back and relisten. Would be stoked to see them back in Australia maybe for Soundwave 2011....

Misanthropee (March 19, 2010)

I gotcha. I just didn't feel like the review reflected a 4/5 level of approval as I understand it. I wasn't criticizing you at all, just making an observation that the Punknews scoring rubric just feels too relative to me these days. If my perception is off, it'd be helpful to know by how much and why before I write another review myself.

thirtyseconds (March 19, 2010)

love it now*

thirtyseconds (March 19, 2010)

Misanthropee: Whilst the review may contain more negative co comments than not, I think it's reasonably clear that I didn't like the album at first, but love it first.

"However, nine months later, I can confidently say that The Eternal Return is well up there with anything Darkest Hour have ever done. "

"...the ascension to a level of aggression never seen before from the band. And it’s so addictive"

"Make no mistake, every track is killer. What The Eternal Return delivers has been well done, but rarely done so well"

"Rest assured, this is definitely a case of one step back and three steps forward and I fully expect more great shit from the boys"

I do have my own grading system (depsite many of my past reviews being bollocks) and I think this deserves an 8.

Misanthropee (March 19, 2010)

Punknews should do something about this whole scoring thing. It doesn't sound like the reviewer dug this record that much, but it still got what I'd call a high score. I dunno if the editors should just decide on what ranges constitute good/bad/average and publicize it, or if 10 stars are more accurate than 5, or what. But excepting extremely bad and extremely awesome albums, the scores here seem sort of arbitrary.

thehandswillabide (March 19, 2010)

i only checked out Deliver Us because of the awesome Baizley artwork. this album cover is garbage. I'm going to stick with Hands of a Sadist Nation...

red_eye_inc (March 19, 2010)

I noticed this one had more guitar solos than the last one, I think they were trying to prove they can still rip without Kris Norris. They proved it, I dig this big time.

thirtyseconds (March 19, 2010)

Will do!

Cheesetits (March 19, 2010)

This cd was alright, but they've gotten pretty watered down lately. If you want Darkest Hour done right, check out the latest from Revocation. Existence is Futile was one of my favorite releases last year.

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