I’ve always been of a fan Darkest Hour’s passion. Their power, delivery, live performance, and stick-to-your-guns mentality has kept them afloat for over a decade in a very fickle genre. But even their most diehard fan would have to agree that their last couple albums were somewhat of a blur of non-discernable songs. Just a constant blast beat, Gothenburg melodies and John Henry’s rangeless rasp. Well, with a new year and a new album on a new label, the DC natives have apparently found a new lease on songwriting, because they have crafted their most emotive record since 2000 debut, Mark of the Judas. Not that they have completely abandoned the Darkest Hour formula. Still plenty of blast beats, Gothenburg melodies and John Henry’s rangeless rasp, but the pain has returned. The sorrow is back in full force musically and lyrically. There’s more variation of tempo, more dynamics, and although I’m not the biggest fan of instrumentals (let alone 9-minute ones), “Terra Solaris” was a surprisingly interesting injection right before the album’s climactic closer. Consider the ante upped.
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