Artist: Darkest Hour
Album: Godless Prophets and the Migrant Flora
Genre: Melodic Death Metal/Metalcore
Review by Steve Jenkins
A band that some would say ‘missed the boat’ on the new wave of American metal movement have released what could possibly be their finest album to date over 20 years into their career.
Ever since the release of their monumental album Deliver Us in 2007, Darkest Hour have
been releasing good music that hasn’t quite managed to live up to that particular classic. Whilst still releasing decent tracks, the loss of guitarist Kris Norris can be felt with the lack of kick-ass style the band had become known for. Though many of their releases in the past 10 years
have had some worthy highlights, fans were all patiently waiting for another Deliver Us, or an equivalent that would help them reclaim their title as one of the standout bands in modern metal today.
As soon as you hear the opening track Knife in the Safe Room, it’s clear that Darkest Hour
are here to make a statement. With heavy hardcore inspired riffs and rejuvenated vocals
from John Henry, this is what we’ve been wanting from the accomplished Washington D.C. band.
If after only three songs into the album, you feel the need to take a break from headbanging along to the aggressive and catchy songs, you won't be alone. The guitar work
on this album is stellar, especially the solos which are technical, dynamic, and memorable.
The eighth track Widowed gives listeners a short break from the chaos, with a nice and
soothing acoustic number before the rapid fire assault on your senses ensues.
Other standout tracks include the fast-paced This is the Truth with speedy drumwork and
intensity from both the vocalist and guitarists, as well as the the epic closer Beneath It
Sleeps, which is filled with riffs to impress and provides a strong finale to end the show,
An interesting bit of information about this album is that it was entirely funded by their fans,
after the band started up an IndieGoGo crowd funding campaign, raising $67,707 from over 1,200 people. They've definitely put that money to good use here, with excellent production, impressive artwork, guest musician spots, and enhanced coverage of the recording process.
Whilst Godless Prophets is an extremely impressive comeback after the mostly decent
self-titled release in 2014, I really do think that this is an album which fans will look back on
in ten years’ time as one of their best efforts. While it doesn't quite reach the status of career defining, the fact that Darkest Hour have bounced back with an offering likes this certainly puts even further weight behind how great the album is. We may be early into 2017, but I'd definitely call this an early contender for best metal album of the year.
4 stars out of 5.
The Godless Prophets & the Migrant Flora is out now via Southern Lord Recordings.
Watch the video for Knife In The Safe Room below: