Darkest Hour - Undoing Ruin
Victory Records
New Wave of American Metal
11 songs (37:50)
Release year: 2005
Darkest Hour, Victory Records
Reviewed by Nathanael
Album of the month

As an avid fan and supporter of metal music for many years, it’s become increasingly frustrating to see just how much unnecessary whining and shit talking has come as a result of the resurgence of metal’s popularity in the American scene. It seems like most “fans” are spending more time complaining and bitching on online forums than actually listening to and enjoying the music itself.

Granted the increase of American metal bands has understandably lead to an expected lack of originality within the scene, there currently are however a core of high-quality American metal bands carrying the torch for the new generation.

Ten years into their career, Washington DC’s Darkest Hour have proven themselves as more than worthy of joining this esteemed pantheon.

Having only first been introduced to these guys through their last release, the exceptional Hidden Hands of a Sadist Nation, recorded in the legendary Studio Fredman and produced by none other than the man himself, I had a gut feeling that these guys had more than a few tricks left up their sleeves. After watching the trailer for Undoing Ruin, I somehow knew these guys would be able to deliver what they promised.

Produced by none other than the legendary guru Devin Townsend, Darkest Hour have succeeded in reaching the same plateau of metallic majesty as their obvious influences. By seamlessly (key word, seamlessly) integrating all their influences from Swedish Thrash and Melodic Death, to American Thrash, Punk and Hardcore, Darkest Hour have succeeded in creating what so many others have attempted in vain: the ultimate synthesis of European and American Metal, both past and present. Though some sceptics may listen to this album and think they’ve heard it all before, closer inspection reveals a world of subtleties and attention to detail that separate Darkest Hour from all their so-called peers.

Unlike the unbridled, raw aggression found on Hidden Hands..., Undoing Ruin is a much slicker, more calculated assault on the senses. Though a polished production often detracts from the overall aggression, such is not the case here. From the opening ambiance of With a Thousand Words to Say But One, the all encompassing sonic assault never ceases as each track runs its chaotic yet calculated course, building upon itself and rendering Undoing Ruin as a complete listening experience.

Follow up track Convalescence could very well be the track to bring metal back to the masses with it’s perfect marriage of heaviness and catchiness, though I’m sure most self-proclaimed “purists” will go to lunch on this one. Though its seemingly short duration puzzled me at first, not a note more is needed for Darkest Hour to get their point across. For an extensive description of each remaining track, I suggest you go buy the album, though you can take my word when I say there is plenty to sink your teeth into here for any open minded fan of well-orchestrated, high-caliber metal.

For one to create great music, one must look back and study those who already achieved this task. Darkest Hour fully understand this which is why they deserve every ounce of praise they receive. Though Undoing Ruin has been a long time coming, it could not have arrived at a better time.

Easily one of the most mature, confident and overall superb New-Wave American Metal releases.

Killing Songs :
Nathanael quoted 95 / 100
Other albums by Darkest Hour that we have reviewed:
Darkest Hour - The Human Romance reviewed by Khelek and quoted 68 / 100
Darkest Hour - The Eternal Return reviewed by Khelek and quoted 79 / 100
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