Release Date: Feb 22, 2011
Record label: Entertainment One Music
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal, Punk/New Wave, Hardcore Punk, Grindcore
This Maryland-based melodic death metal band has pretty much plowed a steady furrow since Hidden Hands of a Sadist Nation. They combine the fist-pumping, catchy riffs of At the Gates with John Henry's hoarsely screamed vocals, which are clearly derived from…well, from Tomas Lindberg of At the Gates. But they're much more than a cover band -- they've got American-style hardcore fury on their side, plus a surprisingly emotional side that comes out in tracks like the subtly piano-tinged "Love as a Weapon." On the other hand, their primary stock in trade is still the thrashy, pit-roiling anthem, and there are plenty of examples to be heard on The Human Romance.
The best Darkest Hour have been since ‘Undoing Ruin’. Seven albums in and Darkest Hour have produced a murderer’s row of modern-thrash anthems. Filled with triumphant riffs end to end, ‘The Human Romance’ sees the US five-piece finally achieve the balance between emotion, progression and aggression – the epic triumvirate of ‘Violent By Nature’, ‘Purgatory’ and ‘Severed Into Separates’ a fitting example.
Whenever a veteran band announces that they’re going to “go back to their roots” on their new album, it’s often enough to make one cringe. The prospect of their returning to their early sound is even more discouraging when a band’s been around for a good 15 years and has only just recently put together a string of good records after years of mediocrity. Such is the case with Darkest Hour.
Review Summary: Darkest Hour make the best album that they can make without Kris Norris. So you’re halfway into this new Darkest Hour album so far, right? The Human Romance is going strong. It’s got most of what you want from a Darkest Hour album, minus a certain guitarist - that kick-ass vocalist in John Henry, glasses-wearing-nerd-turned-impassioned-vocal-thrasher, and the hell-raiser drummer in Ryan Parrish, who knows how to almost singlehandedly propel Henry through each chorus just on the strength of his playing style.