Darkest Hour may just have found their stride again with latest and ninth overall LP, Godless Prophets & the Migrant Flora (Southern Lord). Even from a pre-production standpoint, it seemed like these amply seasoned scene veterans wanted total control on the final product. For instance Godless Prophets… was a crowdfunded effort (in a very successful campaign, I might add) that enlisted the services and recording studio of uber-producer Kurt Ballou.
But all crowd-funding cash and taste-making production are of no service if the music is not up to par. Fortunately for us, Godless Prophets… is a lean bastard that does away with the unfocused experimentation found on Darkest Hour’s 2014 self-titled effort (Sumerian). ‘Knife in the Safe Room’ quickly establishes that fleet-footed Melodic Death Metal is where Darkest Hour is at their strongest. And from then on the Gothenburg-tinged hits keep coming in the form of ‘This is the Truth,’ ‘The Flesh and the Flowers of Death,’ and ‘Timeless Numbers.’
And while the modus operandi on Godless Prophets… seems to be search and destroy, Darkest Hour made sure to leave some room for breathing in between the pummeling. ‘Another Headless Ruler of the Used’ starts with the type of melodically bent riff that In Flames used to specialize in and urgently need right now. ‘Another Ruler’ and the intro to ‘Enter Oblivion’ also feature some exquisite lead guitar work from the axe team of Mike Schleibaum and Mike “Lonestar” Carrigan. In that regard, it’s not hard to draw comparisons to Unearth, as another act that technically outshines their Metalcore competition but don’t receive enough of the attention or sales.
Darkest Hour are back and are taking control of their destiny. Godless Prophets & the Migrant Flora is a worthy addition to the canon to stand alongside Hidden Hands of a Sadist Nation (Victory) and The Human Romance (E1).