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There is a little tiny link on the bottom left corner of Darkest Hour's "D.I.Y. Webpage", which is aptly titled so by those great purveyors of the D.I.Y. ethic, Victory Records. I apologize. Regardless, this little link is deemed "For Shredders Only". Shredders? Well, what on the good earth is a shredder? A mutant freak obsessed with trying to destroy four turtles? That cute little apparatus next to Steve Bozzone's desk that he will use once he finishes reading this review? *SIGH* MY FRONTAL LOBE HAS CRACKED FROM THIS OVERBEARING STRESS. But, alas, the answer comes soon enough when you click on this little gem. Awaiting you, in all his glory, is a picture of guitarist umm... alright im not gonna lie, im not sure which one it is. It is either Mike or Kris. But, he is there and he is holding his guitar as Lietenaunt Jon Rambo would before blowing away those pesky vietnamese deep in the heart of the "shit", shredding. That, my friend, is a shredder and that gives a pretty good indication of what this band is all about. Heavy metal.
Hidden Hands of a Sadist Nation is Darkest Hour's second album for Victory Records. Their first, So Sedated, So Secure kicked my ass and this one continues where that one left off; not only kicking my ass, but sending it a package to Abu-Dhabi, where i can meet my good pal Odie and maybe try and find our way back to Jon Arbuckle's house. The album is produced by Frederick Nordstrom (At the Gates, In Flames, Cradle of Filth, maybe a few of these names ring a bell) and was recorded in Sweden - for the love of Thor!!! Sweden, or any Norwegian country for that matter, has won numerous awards for being metal, and with Darkest Hour's new album, the proof is in the pudding as to why.
Hidden Hands features guest appearances from members of Soilwork, At the Gates, and the Haunted, which would give the impression that an all star guest list such as this would overshadow the actual band. Lest ye fear not, Darkest Hour handles their own. This album is described as "musically faster, more intense, and more melodic" and "the next gospel in the religion that is Darkest Hour". First off, what does that mean. Second, I really dont care what it means, its true. This is an intense album, from start to finish. Every song rips. Incredible guitar lines, incredible drumming, incredible everything. No American band is playing this style of metal as well as Darkest Hour is, and while thats a big statement, I stand firmly behind it.
Think At the Gates and Motorhead in a big blender on high speed. Darkest Hour's lyrical content is also right on dealing with topics such as guns and violence and blind patriotism. This is a nutty album. This is a metal album, and metal is always cooler than whatever it is you like. Darkest Hour are leaps and bounds ahead of pretty much every other American Metal Band, and their new album confirms this even more so.
Get this right now.
Shred shred, put your fist in the air.
Mark Perro is a Staff Writer. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.