HistoryDarkest Hour was formed in 1995 and is based out of Washington D.C. Darkest Hour incorporates elements of At The Gates into its hardcore recipe. The band was originally signed to Death Truck and then Art Monk and then MIA, but with the latter label's bankruptcy in early 2000, the band showcased and signed to Victory Records.
A DVD called Party Scars And Prison Bars - A Thrashography was released in 2005. Undoing Ruin was issued in the summer of 2005. The album was recorded at Green House Studio in Vancouver and produced by Devin Townsend. A tour with Bleeding Through, Zao and Martyr A.D. followed. The band has parted ways with guitarist Kris Norris in late 2008. The man who toured with the DC crossover fiends, Mike "Lonestar" Carrigan, now has the job full-time. Darkest Hour released its fifth full-length record for Victory, The Eternal Return, on June 23rd. The CD was produced by Brian McTernan. Darkest Hour would complete a Canadian/US tour in November of 2010 with Veil Of Maya and Periphery. Darkest Hour's next album, The Human Romance, was out on February 22nd, 2011 through eOne Music. The album was recorded at a North Carolina studio with Soilwork guitarist Peter Wichers.
Former Annihilator bassist Dave Sheldon, former Darkest Hour guitarist Kris Norris (also of Straight Line Stitch) and former Darkest Hour drummer Ryan Parrish have a new band called A Cancerous Affair. Ryan Parrish was replaced with Timothy Java (Dead To Fall). More line-up changes in Darkest Hour came in June of 2012. Bassist Paul Burnette left the band, but would continue in Iron Reagan. Aaron Deal, who had been playing live with the band, was the permanent replacement. The band released its next full-length album, Godless Prophets & The Migrant Flora, on March 10th 2017 through Southern Lord Recordings. Darkest Hour lost guitarist Michael “Lonestar” Carrigan in mid-2020. The band had a 25th anniversary 7” called XXV in 2020. Shadows Fall reunited for a show in December 2021 in its native land. The December 18th show was to be opened by Darkest Hour, Unearth and others. Live In Lockdown was culled from an online show and issued digitally by the band in 2021. Another independent release was Undoing Ruin Live At The Black Cat, which performed the band’s 2005 album. The songs Payphones & Pills/Oklahoma 2022 were uploaded together in 2022.
DARKEST HOUR - UNDOING RUIN - VICTORY RECORDS
Undoing Ruin is a sometimes atmospheric version of the current wave of US bands. Darkest Hour borrow the same Swedish sound and mixes it with some of the familiar hardcore and metal elements. This release advertised as being produced by Devin Townsend of Strapping young Lad is actually pretty weak and low key in that department. The vocals are the usual screaming kind and the band claims that this is their first non-political album but one more about personal and musical change. The opener With Thousand Words To Say But One gives a clear indication of where this change has taken Darkest Hour with the aforementioned atmosphere created by the often melodic riffs. Convalescence starts off very much like a melodic European metal song befitting the likes of Withering Surface, for example. The two songs that follow, This Will Outlive Us and Sound The Surrender, feature heavy metal solos taking this album further away from any hard core sound one might expect. This Will Outlive Us’ opening segment borrows heavily from Slayer’s Divine Intervention. Pathos, an acoustic instrumental follows, providing a mandatory intermission heard on many heavy metal albums. Low mixes much of the same influences and is followed by yet another instrumental in Ethos. District Divided has a slightly upper tempo and is therefore a clear candidate for an album highlight. Closing out the album These Fevered Times, Paradise and Tranquil make one reach the conclusion that Darkest Hour is not really sure as to its direction, providing more hints of traditional heavy metal mixed with the usual hardcore/mallcore sound. - Anna Tergel