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Darkest Hour - The Human Romance (CD) Award winner

Darkest Hour
The Human Romance
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 06 February 2011, 7:02 PM

Probably the greatest advantage of DARKEST HOUR, as an American Metalcore band, is the fact that although they obtained an image of a modern Metal outfit, they have their way to surprise occasionally. Since many so called melodic Death Metal bands, for some opinions, "upgraded" themselves by inserting Hardcore, and even Punk sometimes, into their music, almost everything sounds the same. However, I can't fully share that opinion with DARKEST HOUR's new album, "The Human Romance". In their own way, DARKEST HOUR made me partially feel otherwise regarding Metalcore, and they aren't the first band to do it, and I liked what was made here.

"The Human Romance" on several occurrences graced me with a marriage between the New American Metal, meaning Metalcore, and Swedish Death Metal. Many of the riffs and passages are very similar to the next generation of Swedish Death Metal as IN FLAMES and SOILWORK, Germany's HEAVEN SHALL BURN while adding the strong resemblance to local acts TRIVIUM and AS I LAY DYING. If none of who is reading this didn't know DARKEST HOUR, this lineup of bands, for fans of the sub-genre, will probably give a good idea of what they are going to face.

DARKEST HOUR tried to compose something a bit different on this album in order not to repeat themselves or other bands. For a Metalcore band, they used a pretty much large dose of great melodies that in a way reminded me of the old Swedish flame mixed with sounds of Hardcore / Punk trills. The addition of those outside genres helped on keeping a certain flow in the material in order to make it easier to listen with a much more catchier sense. Nevertheless, the extremity is still alive and kicking. With their flow, I was happy to hear that DARKEST HOUR didn't forget the importance of melodies, unlike many other bands in the same caliber or sub-genre that forgot or lacked the thought on molding those into their music to become more exciting and interesting. Even so, on several of their tracks DARKEST HOUR haven't thought about being a little more genuine than repeating the same old melodic riff in different scales both as a opening and main riffs.

"The Human Romance" gave me a chance to experience things that I haven't heard for quite a while. For example, the long Metalcore instrumental, "Terra Solaris", which was nothing less than exciting. That track implied on the high level of creativity that this band invested and a reminder of a move that almost was never taken by a band of this sort. The meeting of Metalcore and a bagpipe? The blazing "Purgatory" will provide the stuff. For straightforward stuff, paired with a Swedish sense, you will get your kick from "Your Every Day Disaster", "Severed Separates", "Beyond The Life You Know" and "Love As A Weapon". In the end, the DARKEST HOUR made a little more than just being another Metalcore band. For whoever is a bit open minded, "The Human Romance" will open up a new relationship with this group. Stay tuned to them.

4 Star Rating

1. Terra Nocturnus
2. The World Engulfed In Flames
3. Savor The Kill
4. Man And Swine
5. Love As A Weapon
6. Your Every Day Disaster
7. Violent By Nature
8. Purgatory
9. Severed Separates
10. Wound
11. Terra Solaris
12. Beyond The Life You Know
John Henry - Vocals
Mike Schleibaum - Guitars
Mike "Lonestar" Carrigan Theobald - Guitars
Paul Burnette - Bass
Ryan Parrish - Drums
Record Label: E1 Music


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