Darkest Hour are notorious for on-stage ferocity, taut guitar interplay and enraged vocals that outline the hypocrisy and casual brutality of politics and society. Their prior releases on Victory Records set benchmarks in the genre as the band embraced the DIY ethics of the hardcore scene and the technical skill of metal, galvanizing their own path and earning fans from both sides of the fence. While Hidden Hands of a Sadist Nation (2003) attacked the duplicity of government, So Sedated, So Secure (2001) skewered organized religion and rampant commercialism. On Undoing Ruin, the latest chapter in the Darkest Hour story, themes of healing and moving forward are prevalent. “It’s our fi rst album that isn’t overtly political, though we did record “District Divided” which deals with the rapid gentrifi cation in our hometown, Washington, D.C.,” commented guitarist Mike Schleibaum, “The album is about change, personal and musical. The name, Undoing Ruin, fi t the concept – it’s about making life worth living again.”
Undoing Ruin was produced by Devin Townsend of Strapping Young Lad at Greenhouse Studios in Vancouver. Townsend, famous for his work in his own band as well his production role with Lamb of God and Soilwork, brought new defi nition to the signature Darkest Hour sound. “Unlike what some might think, Devin didn’t try to change our sound, but honed it, and helped us make a more concise album. He also was able to bring out the atmospheric side when it was needed and the shred side when it was called for,” explained Schleibaum. The result is an album that’s the most introspective and musically intricate work by the band to date, while maintaining their signature raw intensity.
The band formed in Washington D.C. in 1998, playing hardcore shows and releasing two split 7” records and a CD EP before dropping The Mark of the Judas in 2000 and receiving great notice from the underground press. Victory Records quickly signed Darkest Hour in the wake of the excitement. Their fi rst album for the label, So Sedated, So Secure came out in 2001 to critical raves. Metal Maniacs said, “They are at the forefront of metal’s new titans, sharing the circle with the likes of Lamb of God.” Darkest Hour continuously toured with bands like God Forbid, Dillinger Escape Plan and Atreyu.
In 2003, Hidden Hands of a Sadist Nation kicked their profi le up decidedly. Revolver Magazine described it as “A metalcore classic.” Ozzfest called and in the summer of 2004 Darkest Hour joined Lamb of God, Slipknot and many others on the second stage. Their live shows were explosive, the band playing each set as if it were their last, demanding circle pits and laying down blistering guitar and enraged vocals, even at sets that began at 10:00 a.m. The seeds for “District Divided” were sown, as vocalist John Henry discovered early in the tour that he had been evicted; his albums and belongings scattered on the sidewalk. When Ozzfest wound down in August of 2004, Darkest Hour toured North America again before settling in for winter songwriting and work on their DVD, Prison Scars and Party Bars: A Thrashography. The DVD hit the streets on February 22nd while Darkest Hour recorded Undoing Ruin, and received praise from magazines like Alternative Press and Chord.
In April, fresh from the studio, the band exploded onto the stage at New England Metal Fest ’05, showcasing their new material to the unsuspecting crowd - the unwary risked instant conversion to the religion that is Darkest Hour. The band is back with a searing, incendiary album that takes their already formidable arsenal of metal and reinforces it with more dynamics, crystalline production and a new barrage of calculated madness that defi es category and will elevate them to the top echelons of the metal world. Undoing Ruin is the next volume in Darkest Hour’s encyclopedia of metal; they will be the break-out metal band in 2005.
Look for Darkest Hour to be destroying a club near you!