It’s crazy to believe that after 21 years, Darkest Hour is still making music and touring after they formed in 1995. With their mix of Melodic Death Metal and Hardcore influenced by the likes of At the Gates and Damnation A.D., their sonic assault is still as powerful as ever. Eight full-length albums later and a couple of compilation songs and EPs, they are are set to release their ninth full-length album titled Godless Prophets and the Migrant Flora via Southern Lord Recordings and are currently in the middle of their headlining tour and recently made a stop at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn, New York. Perfect place for a good show since Darkest Hour has always been one of the best bands to see live in my opinion so stage-diving, mashing and loud voices was to be expected throughout the night.
I first heard of Darkest Hour back in 2004 when Battle For Ozzfest was playing on MTV and one episode had the contestants play one song on stage with one of the Second Stage bands on the tour. Of course, Darkest Hour was one of those bands and Adair from the band Manntis was chosen to play the song “With Friends Like These” with them. After that, I have watched their videos for the songs “Convalescence” and “Sound the Surrender” of the album Undoing Ruin on rotation on Headbangers Ball and they have gotten my attention since then. By the year 2006, I found out Soilwork was doing a headlining tour and Darkest Hour, Mnemic, and Threat Signal were the support bands so the opportunity to finally see them live was there and I bought a ticket. Seeing them live was really good for the 22 year-old me at that time even if I didn’t know too much of the lyrics to their songs and it enticed me to buy my first Darkest Hour album titled Deliver Us one year after. After listening to Darkest Hour for years and years and keeping track on what they’re up to, Unearth decided to take them out on tour in 2014. At the time their self-titled album was released on Sumerian Records and Travis Robin, formerly of Sky Eats Airplane and Periphery was their official drummer so I had to go see how he did live with them and it was nothing short of good. So good that I filmed the performances which you can watch on my Youtube channel, troz3861. With the new full-length album that’s coming out on March 10th, I read that they were going to be releasing it without a label and are doing a Indiegogo campaign to have their fans donate money to them to record, promote and tour more. I was one of the people that donated to the cause to receive a hard copy of the new album and DVD of the 10 year anniversary of Undoing Ruin live, which isn’t too far from now as they have yet to be shipped out soon.
Now in present day, the Godless Prophets and the Migrant Flora headlining tour rolls by and this is my third time seeing Darkest Hour, I was really looking forward to seeing the show and hearing the new songs live for the first time. For this tour they brought out a couple of support bands: Immortal Bird from Chicago (Whom I thought were good. Their drummer is a beast!), Withered from Atlanta, Rivers of Nihil from Pennsylvania (which I didn’t get the hype about) and Rotten Sound from Finland (pretty good Grindcore band). After Rotting Sound came off stage and Darkest Hour was setting up, everyone in the crowd was super excited to see Darkest Hour live and hear new songs along with old favorites from albums before. Being that their set took place in Saint Vitus Bar, a lot of the events that were to be expected took place during the set: Stage diving, moshing, lots of people singing along, guitar solos and riffs provided by Mike Schliebaum and Mike “Lonestar” Carrigan, drum abuse provided by Travis Orbin, Aaron Deal executing the bass lines and the loud barks of vocalist John Henry. Madness! At the end of the night, fans were all exhausted as they witnessed a great set performed by the great heavy metal men from Washington D.C.. Lots of off-stage socializing with many of the band members telling them that the set was great, the merch table being occupied by fans, drinking of beers at the bar and live show recuperation as people exited the venue while people stayed inside. So definitely be on the lookout for the new Darkest Hour album because I have the advanced digital download of the album before the official album release and have listened to it many times already. Trust me, the new album isn’t anything to be taken lightly and isn’t an album to be ignored whatsoever!
Setlist: Knife in the Safe Room, For the Soul of the Savior, Doomsayer (The Beginning of the End), No God, Timeless Numbers, Savor the Kill, Violent by Nature, Those Who Survived, Marching into the Killing Rhythm, With a Thousand Words to Say But One, Rapture in Exile, The Sadist Nation.