Darkest Hour - 'Deliver Us'
Will Be Released July 10, 2007
When it comes to metal cds, there is one fatal error that I tend to commit all too often..I don't turn the volume up. When you get to be an old man like me, you kinda don't want to listen to music that loudly anymore, especially in a car (where arguably most listening takes place). After my first three-ish listens to this record, I was severely disappointed. DH has been a favorite metal band of mine for a long, long time and their recent direction has had me slightly disappointed. Their previous record, 'Undoing Ruin', was the start down a new path for the band; a path where all rough edges were now smoothed out, a path where a feeling of raw liveness was replaced by pro-toolsed process..ed..ness. Granted, Ruin had some really great tunes and I ultimately enjoyed it and still do, but it didn't really live up to the hype that I had built up for the band in my head.
'Deliver Us' finds the band continuing down the aforementioned path, but again, something just doesn't feel right. The production is so pristine, the transitions all flow so perfectly that it almost becomes a hindrance to the listening experience if. Darkest Hour is, above all other things, a live band. Their live show is incredible and second to none as far as the genre goes, and I tend to feel like their records should be an extension of that..forgive me I'm asking too much. I'm ALL for good production but there comes a point when it moves into the realm of over production and the music starts sounding so glossed over it's almost lifeless. But I digress, cleanness aside, once the volume is turned up, this is a pretty solid record. There are a few too many songs with crappy clean vocal choruses and the band seems to have dumbed down it's song structures a little bit but let's face it, there really isn't much better out there in metal land than a Darkest Hour record right now. The riffs are still heavy (albeit slightly less thrashy than I'd like), the solos are better than ever, and 'Stand And Receive Your Judgment' and 'Full Imperial Collapse' rock just as much, if not harder, than anything DH has done in their career. The only song I can legitimately say I dislike is the..single?..'Demon(s)' due to it's absolutely abysmal chorus thing.
I've only had the record for 24 hours or so now, so who knows how my feelings will evolve as time goes on. Actually, I know. I'll end up liking it a whole lot more. Pluuuussss, seeing some of these songs live will increase my interest level as well. So basically here's the rundown. It's no 'Hidden Hands..', it's too clean, it gets sorta boring at times, but when the volume is turned all the way up, it's the best straight up metal record I've heard so far this year.
Saturday, June 9, 2007
Posted by HOYT at 5:32 PM