Darkest Hour

The Human Romance

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This Maryland-based melodic death metal band has pretty much plowed a steady furrow since Hidden Hands of a Sadist Nation. They combine the fist-pumping, catchy riffs of At the Gates with John Henry's hoarsely screamed vocals, which are clearly derived from…well, from Tomas Lindberg of At the Gates. But they're much more than a cover band -- they've got American-style hardcore fury on their side, plus a surprisingly emotional side that comes out in tracks like the subtly piano-tinged "Love as a Weapon." On the other hand, their primary stock in trade is still the thrashy, pit-roiling anthem, and there are plenty of examples to be heard on The Human Romance. Hard-charging tracks like "Violent by Nature," "Man & Swine," and "Your Everyday Disaster" (the latter of which features some terrific guitar soloing) will drive the pit berserk. Longtime Darkest Hour fans should be very pleased by this record; they continue to write good songs and perform them with commitment and power. Because of their consistency, though, this album would also make a great introduction to the band's catalog.

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