That was the first word that I could say when the opening track for Darkest Hour’s fifth true full length kicked off. If “Doomsayer” isn’t the closest thing to classic In Flames that’s been released since the birth of metalcore, I don’t know what is. Opening with acoustic guitar work that explodes into a mid-paced drum groove with shades of Gothenburg leads underneath, the song quickly becomes a straight In Flames cut when they kick it into overdrive. The lead work is strong and the growls are true. No melodic sing-song chorus here, just brutality. From the melodic breakdown to the syncopated rhythm section that lead into an excellent solo, the song is trademark In Flames and, despite all of that, is actually quite good.
The opening track gives you a good idea of what Deliver Us is all about. Darkest Hour has grown as a band through the years and I believe are beginning to reach their full level of maturity with this disc. The Gothenburg influences have become their sound yet, they manage to remain unrelenting in their crushing riffs and speed. I have to give credit to John Henry for limiting his melodic vocal approach on the disc in a time when everyone in this scene is singing every chorus (including In Flames!). I wouldn’t mind seeing him back off even more though and let the music do all of the talking though. This style of music has always been about the guitar work.
“Doomsayer” is followed by a short burst of energy called “Sanctuary” which has a brief glimpse of a melody in the vocals but is buried quickly. “Demon(s)” then kicks in and that pure Gothenburg sound returns. The lead that takes over after the breakdown isn’t cheese laden, like most metalcore, but powerful and emotive. This album is truly a testament to the influence that those classic bands have had on modern metal.
Henry’s guttural vocals, in spots, recall Devin Townsend which may be due to his production
The strength of this band is found when they allow themselves to explore in their longer songs. When they have time to flesh out a melody or lead into a new section, the songs truly breathe and emote what they’re looking for. Where “Stand and Receive Your Judgment” fails, the epic feeling “Tunguska” succeeds in spades. Pay attention to the breakdown whose progression shows hints of Opeth. “A Paradox with Flies” is another strong track while “The Light at the Edge of the World” is both thoughtful and brief.
“Full Imperial Collapse” may be the only miss on the album and that’s only because it leaves behind the Gothenburg mold for a more EveryTimeIDie style of dirty hardcore. It’s not a terrible song but it doesn’t fit the sound of the album.
If you’re looking for an album that is a return to 1995, this is the disc for you. Don’t be misled of confused; this is metal with hardcore influence, not the other way around. Despite the fact that the album leans heavily toward the Gothenburg sound and borrows from early In Flames–the song writing is incredibly tight and leads are delicious.
For Fans of: In Flames, At The Gates, Arch Enemy