Darkest Hour – The Human Romance [2011]

Band: Darkest Hour
Album: The Human Romance
Release Year: 2011
Genre: Melodic Death Metal/Metalcore

“The Human Resource” is the seventh album release by American Death Metal quintet Darkest Hour. The album has been produced by “Soilwork” Peter Wichers, who has been a major influence on “Darkest Hour”. The album is due for release on 22nd February 2011.

The album begins with the track “Terra Noctunus”. The track begins with a sample of static from a radio which soon leads into a slow, hypnotic riff mixed with distorted feedback from another guitar. “The World Engulfed In Flames” is the track that follows after and begins with a slow but heavy intro. The drums in the intro sound as if they were improvised by an amateur as they don’t seem to work well with the guitar. The vocals sound to be more of the metalcore variety rather than the death metal variety. The track vastly improves after the intro, especially in terms of the drums.

“Savor the Kill” comes next, beginning with a technical sounding riff. The drums sound more professionally played as well throughout the entire track. Some of the riffs have a very melodic element to them, which works extremely well with the metalcore-sounding vocals. The guitar solo on this track is well played. The next track is “Man & Swine”, which begins with the vocals completely overpowering the guitars, which sound as if they’ve been panned down during in the production. The guitars do go up in volume half way through the track, just before a brilliant solo kicks in. The drums sound perfect on this track as well, clearly well played and in time with the entire song.

“Love As A Weapon” begins with a slow and clean intro riff, before another, more distorted guitar kicks in to play along aside the clean sounding guitar. The vocals sound more death metal on this track as well. The track switches to a slower, lighter and cleaner section halfway through for a short while before it turns heavy again. There is also a great use of clean vocals on this track as well. “Your Everyday Disaster” comes next and despite it’s “angsty teenage emo” sounding title, the track proves to be one of the more brutal, face melting tracks. Straight away the listener is bombarbed by harsh vocals, vicious guitars and bombarding drums. Even the solo keeps the track brutal. This one is clearly the best track of the album.

“Violent by Nature” follows after and it begins with a child talking in the background before a poorly recorded guitar kicks in alongside poorly recorded vocals. The drums are pretty much overpowered by the guitars. The track doesn’t improve at all and it is, without a doubt, the worse track on the album. On the next track, “Purgatory” the sound quality of the guitars and vocals has vastly improved and the drums sound more powerful than what they were in the previous track. The track turns lighter for about two seconds halfway through before the tempo and brutality are cranked back up.

“Severed into Separates” has brought back the poor sound quality of the guitars and vocals, which makes it almost as bad as “Violent by Nature”. The only difference being between the two tracks is that the drums are slightly more audible on “Severed into Separates”. Moving on to “Wound”, the guitars sound more clearer in terms of sound quality, but the sound quality of the vocals needs some work. The drums seem to fade in and out, as they sound overpowered by the vocals.

“Terra Solaris” begins with a slow intro which sounds like a poorly recorded piano, which carries on for a while when the guitars come in. While being a mostly heavy track, it is far too long, going on for 8 minutes and 37 seconds. About 2 minutes into the track, the sound of faint female vocals can be heard, which soon disappear when the riff turns melodic for a short while. Halfway through, the track turns slow and semi-acoustic for a few minutes before a shredding solo comes in, turning the track heavy again. The final track: “Beyond The Life You Know” begins with a very metalcore styled intro mixed with some melodic guitar work. The vocals are probably the most metalcore element to this track. At best, it’s a mediocre track.

“The Human Romance” isn’t exactly an impressive album, nor is a terrible album. There should have been more work on the production of some of the tracks and there could have been more death metal elements.


Nico Davidson

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