After the release of their Victory Records debut in 2001 entitled, So Sedated, So Secure, Darkest Hour spent the next two years solid, touring the world (headlining club tours as well as stints on Ozzfest and Warped Tour), absorbing snapshots of foreign cultures along the way, and trying to understand the world’s view of Americans.
Inspired by their travels the band decided to record their next record in Gothenburg, Sweden, 2003’s Hidden Hands of a Sadist Nation. They ended up recording at the legendary Swedish metal lab, Studio Fredman, with Fredrik Nordstrom, where bands like the Haunted and Soilwork have laid down tracks in the past. Obviously the record had some Swedish influences, but Darkest Hour was set on moving out of the shadows of Sweden’s metal legacy.
In early 2005 the band, intentionally or not, went to Vancouver, B.C. to record their third record in as many countries (2001’s So Sedated was recorded in D.C.). This time at the helm was producer and Strapping Young Lad front-man Devin Townsend. Townsend helped to hone the sound on the new record by letting the band be themselves, instead of forcing a sound, “This new record is really different. Devin has definitely been willing to take more chances, and every song has its own personality and direction,” explains guitarist Mike Schleibaum.
Darkest Hour fans need not worry, the lightning speed and “Slayer-style” dueling riffage is still there, and some of their Swedish roots are still exposed. But the palette is broadened more on Undoing Ruin, with more intricately crafted peaks and valleys, more American-style punk and metal, and some subtle guitar solos, which is something that the band was never comfortable with on previous releases.
Although the production is the glossiest to date, Darkest Hour has finally crafted and developed their sound without forcing it.
Pat Clarkson here, Michael Davis is on a Pagan elephant training retreat, deep in the Nepalese forests and will resume his journalistic duties next week, thanks for joining. And keep your beady little eyes peeled for our annual, “how to build a dictatorship in your own backyard,” pamphlet, in the mail soon!