DARKEST HOUR - Undoing Ruin

Darkest Hour - Undoing Ruin

11 songs
37:45 minutes
***** ****


Me and the whole world were looking forward to this new album by American metal core kings Darkest Hour who reinvented the genre with their previous CD Hidden Hands Of A Sadist Nation. The question is: can Undoing Ruin keep up with that masterpiece? To be sincere: no! Darkest Hour didn't go to Sweden this time, but to the equally cold Canada, where metal wunderkind Devin Townsend gave them the best possible sound. The eleven tracks on the new album come in an incredible transparency, with the sound giving equal opportunity to both guitars, the bass guitars rumbling nicely in the background, the drums creating a thunderstorm and the vocals barking angrily their cryptic messages. Lots of melodic guitar solos carry the Darkest Hour towards metal spheres, although the differentiated production pays equally tribute to the straight brutality to hardcore, with the vocals especially staying throughout the album on the brutal pissed-off side.

The album contains a variety of songs, from fierce take-no-prisoners punchers (With A Thousand Words To Say But One, This Will Outlive Us) to the more spaced-out yet equally brutal tracks (Convalescence, Sound The Surrender), Darkest Hour prove once and for all that from a production point of view, nobody plays it better, and while I prefer Darkest Hour still to nearly every other metal core band, the final result is alas far from the unimprovable genius of their previous album. Where Hidden Hands... delivered 9 songs in 56 minutes, we get this time 11 songs in 38 minutes, meaning the songs are on average only nearly half as long. It seems as if the former sense of urgency has left the band, as if they are satisfied to play "only" great metal core songs, without adding so many foreign influences (mostly Sweden death) that made their previous effort so fantastic.

But don't worry, it may be a short album, but it still has enough power to leave 99% of the competition behind. If you like fast thrash with brutal vocals and overtly melodic soloing, then you'll have to check out Undoing Ruin.

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