If we’re talking about metalcore, you’ll likely already know Darkest Hour. Their 2005 release, Undoing Ruin, is a cornerstone within the scene and a step forward in the evolution of metalcore. The group’s ninth album, Godless Prophets And The Migrant Flora, was released on March 10.
“Knife In The Safe Room” is a very fast-paced opener and doesn’t bother to gently welcome in listeners with an atmospheric introduction. Instead, it instantly kicks in with a very Norma Jean-ish hardcore vibe that is heard in both the instrumentation and vocal performance. This comparison continues in the organic, rough and immediate production of the record. The song has a chaotic mathcore vibe, but returns to order with a catchy chorus. Fans of guitar solos will love the plethora of lead work on this track. This is an excellent, energetic opener to the record.
MELODIC DEATH METAL RIFFING
Some songs are filled with melodic metal riffing, while others have a remarkable hardcore influence. As soon as “This Is The Truth” comes in with speedy drums, the band is able to create an interesting atmosphere reminiscent of The Black Dahlia Murder (especially “What A Horrible Night To Have A Course”) or As Blood Runs Black. Darkest Hour create this very special, almost melodic death metal vibe using very fast guitar riffing and drumming. Alongside the harsh vocals of singer John Henry, the song is one of the highlights on Godless Prophets And The Migrant Flora. Especially enjoyable is the balance between hard-hitting breaks and the melodic clean part. A vitriolic solo adds another element of excitement to the track.
The chorus of “Those Who Survived” again comes with a very hardcore-influenced chorus and a heaviness that sounds bit more metal, managing to be raw and simple while effective and intense. These riffs are good for any fan of heavy music. They have the power to deliver the best that Darkest Hour has to offer. Sometimes the songs are a little repetitive, but within the songs, the riffs work brilliantly.
EVEN MORE RIFFING
Indeed, there is a lot of riffing on the record, paired with Darkest Hour‘s typically up- or downbeat drums. Most songs off of Godless Prophets And The Migrant Flora will make you want to bang your head and join a moshpit. In fact, those songs might work best in a live setting. In “Another Headless Ruler Of The Used”, Travis Orbin is able to show some of his progressive drum skills, changing rhythms here and there. This song has a little more of a progressive attitude than rest of this record, which makes it fresh and interesting.
“Beneath It Sleeps” enters with clean, ambient guitars until the drums come in and create a very Northlane-ish, almost Architects vibe. This song perfectly sums up the record, as it’s the closing track. Based on harmonic structure, it delivers emotionality, with, again, Black Dahlia Murder-esque riffing. The song drives forward just like the previous ones. It’s not that Darkest Hour are great at groove, but they are a band that really has power, spirit and drive, especially on this new record. The record ends with contrasting ambient clean and noisy guitars.
IN A NUTSHELL
Godless Prophets And The Migrant Flora is a record that only has good songs on it. While some are a little repetitive, some really stand out in a very positive way with catchy melodies, aggressive attitude, and heavy guitar playing. What more would you want from a band like Darkest Hour? Sure, it’s not Undoing Ruin 2.0, but if one can move beyond their nostalgic yearnings, it’s clear that the band keeps evolving. Godless Prophets And The Migrant Flora might be one of the best metalcore records that we get this year. The only weak point might be a little monotony that occurs while listening to the full 44 minute record. But if you like Darkest Hour already, you should definitely take a listen to Godless Prophets And The Migrant Flora! This work is pretty solid!
Notable Tracks: “This Is The Truth”; “Those Who Survived”; “Beneath It Sleeps”
FFO: The Black Dahlia Murder, As Blood Runs Black, Norma Jean, As I Lay Dying