Much like their peers As I Lay Dying, Unearth, and Killswitch Engage, Darkest Hour are stuck in a creative rut. Such a predicament has left them struggling to reignite the same sparks that made their music interesting several years ago. After a series of noteworthy albums whose merits have already been forgotten about, Darkest Hour unleash their latest opus as proof they haven't completely lost it. Unfortunately, most of the songs on The Human Romance point to the opposite. The offerings here are the same stale ingredients that have plagued the American scene for the last decade. Essentially, The Human Romance is a semi-competent rehash of ideas created by In Flames served with At The Gates vigor.
The Human Romance begins with a meandering and contemplative intro that would otherwise be dubbed "lame" except this writer took the time to appreciate its nuances. Once the subtlety has opened the curtains for the opening salvo, ripping twin guitars ala In Flames scream before the ferocity is let loose. Blah Blah Blah. You've heard this a few hundred thousand times before. Insensitive bashing aside, Darkest Hour is in fine shape musically even if the music itself is hardly interesting. However, the real downer here is vocalist John Henry: his angry caveman bark is god-awful. Considering how much they sound like their Swedish influences, Darkest Hour would be in better shape if they cleaned up the vocals department a bit. Not in the vein of As I Lay Dying though, cos that shit is boring as hell.
Oh yes, concerning As I Lay Dying. Maybe it's the twin guitars and jackhammer percussion that's playing tricks on this writer's mind, because listening to Darkest Hour in 2011 feels like listening to As I Lay Dying in 2010. The striking semblance points to one thing and one thing only. You read it here first, boys and girls: the entire New Wave of American Heavy Metal (NWOAHM) movement is running on empty. To think Darkest Hour and their ilk were being held as the saviors of metal back in the day.
The Human Romance does have a few delectable cuts and the tastiest is the bruising thrasher Violent by Nature, the upbeat Severed into Separates, and the wonderful almost-progressive interlude Terra Solaris. That's way less than a handful of good songs in a 45 minute album, which spells trouble. Man, do these guys need inspiration.
Essentially, The Human Romance is a semi-competent rehash of ideas created by In Flames served with At The Gates vigor.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]