Darkest Hour: The Eternal Return

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Darkest Hour: The Eternal Return
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Darkest Hour: The Eternal Return
Melodic Death Metal, Metalcore
Victory Records
June 23rd, 2009
Release length: 34:53
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The Eternal Return, the latest release by Darkest Hour, was feared to be the one album that would destroy the band’s career due to the departure of one of the band’s key members. However, this fear is quite the opposite. Losing much of what the band has done musically on their previous album, Deliver Us, this release focuses more on raw tenacity then it does on melody and singing.

While the production quality of the release isn’t as good as on the band’s previous two efforts, it doesn’t really hinder the music on the album, just causes the recording feel a little unfinished as far as the mastering goes. As stated the music is definitely much harder. It seems like some of the complex guitar chords that added melody to Deliver Us don’t really stick out, and aren’t really used as much. Instead, the band seems to be focusing moreso on just driving the music into your skull with blistering guitar chords that have some rather simple overlaying rhythmic riffs for added effect, and some great solos, such as the mind blowing one that appears during “The Tides”. The drums on this release, like always, are very well done.

One of the more important stand out elements of this album is that the band has dropped pretty much any hint of metalcore from their sound, which is great because it allowed the band to grow a little more and really focus on bringing in more of a thrash element to their music. While the band promised a much darker and faster album, there are moments on this release that would have benefitted from a sung chorus. There is also the track “Bitter”, which is just a little over one minute in length, that just doesn’t really do much. Yes, it’s short and sweet, but it’s not the memorable a song as “Devolution Of The Flesh” or “No God”, and doesn’t really offer any intense guitar work or solo like “The Tides” and “A Distorted Utopia” have. The only other negative thing to mention is the song “Black Sun”, due to the start of every main verse sounding as though it’s just the guitar without the bass behind it, then half way into the verse, everything picks up, leaving the start of those feeling somewhat hollow. While the idea does work, it just gets a little old after a while.

Even though The Eternal Return isn’t the masterpiece that a lot of people proclaimed it was upon the album’s release, probably due to low expectations from the aforementioned departure, it is still one hell of a release. The style on this release shows the band growing into a direction that can really push them to the top, but they do need to sit down and work at it a little more. Hopefully the next release will find the band really push forward with their sound and create the masterpiece that The Eternal Return was a little short of.

01. Devolution Of The Flesh – 2:46
02. Death Worship – 3:10
03. The Tides – 4:19
04. No God – 4:47
05. Bitter – 1:19
06. Blessed Infection – 3:25
07. Transcendence – 4:20
08. A Distorted Utopia – 2:57
09. Black Sun – 3:16
10. Into The Grey – 4:34

Overall Score: 7.5/10
Darkest Hour (band)
Darkest Hour (logo)Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.