DARKEST HOUR is arguably one of the most underrated metal bands that exist today. And even with such a huge metal community, this band doesn’t have the recognition and musical spot that they deserve. Coming from Washington, D.C., and with over twenty years of existence DARKEST HOUR are hitting everyone’s face once again with their newest album Godless Prophets & the Migrant Flora, out now on Southern Lord Records.
This is their ninth studio album, and before analyzing track by track, I’m going to guarantee that this record is a complete masterpiece, not only because of what it represents for the band and for the metal community, but also because DARKEST HOUR is such a fucking great band, and they still bring heavy material to the table after over two decades of existence. “Knife in the Safe Room” was the first single released, and it takes no time to create a brutal vibe. A fairly short track with enough material to headbang hard and to get ready for the upcoming songs.
“This Is the Truth” keeps up with the momentum and also holds the brutal voice from John Henry. Just like most of DARKEST HOUR tracks, it also shows some melodic work from time to time. “Timeless Numbers” has an unusual intro that accurately and clearly highlights all the involved instruments as the song goes by. It’s featured on their current tour with RINGWORM, ROTTEN SOUND, TOMBS, AND RIVERS OF NIHIL, and certainly gives a bit of variety to the setlist.
“None of This is the Truth” does not slow down the beats and still should make you hold your thumbs up for this first third of the album. “The Flesh & the Flowers of Death” sounds like a very dark death metal introduction (and it actually is a darker song compared to most). We’re barely at the first half, and my blood is pumping as I’m writing this. “Those Who Survived” is almost twenty minutes of music from Godless Prophets and there’s no sign of all band members to drop down the beat and give you some relaxing time.
“Another Headless Ruler of the Used” is a shorter song, with an intro that lowers its power, but only takes what’s left of your soul to bring it back up again and make it smash in the nearest wall around you. I think we all at this point recognize how John (vocals), Mike Schleibaum (guitar), Michael “Lonestar” Carrigan (guitar), Aaron Deal (bass) and Travis Orbin (drums) have worked their asses off to bring us such an excellent album without lowering their own bar.
“Widowed” is an instrumental song (OK, not brutal at all) and a great connection to “Enter Oblivion”, which is probably the slowest tune of the record, but that doesn’t mean it’s lame. It only takes about a minute for it to raise its brutality and to make you scream your lungs out with its lyrics. “The Last of the Monuments” holds a complex set of drum work, without leaving the melodic essentials behind, and also bringing back the extremely heavy riffs that only DARKEST HOUR can create. All this is like a mysterious beer that maybe you’ve seen before, but once you taste It, your life will never be the same.
The last couple of tracks to close the album definitely stand up for it. “In the Name of us All” brings up an even faster tempo that carries off all the other instruments with it, and “Beneath It Sleeps” is the longest track, and that’s why it might be more melodic, but that perfectly works for me since I’m a huge lover of long tracks to close a disc. Do yourself a favor and press re-play after you finish listening to these twelve incredible songs by one of the bands that also made the New Wave of American Metal strong, and are still alive.
High five to all the band members for their hard work. I hope we get some more DARKEST HOUR over the years. Especially for me, thank you for putting out The Human Romance when I most needed it in my life. Every band always states that their new album is heavier, and it’s darker, and it’s raising the bar, etc…If such things were said about Godless Prophets & the Migrant Flora, I’d bet my attendance to a couple of shows for it to be true. Nice run, everyone.
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM