Bring on the metal elitists, because I’m about to make some pretty bold claims. Godless Prophets & The Migrant Flora has managed to climb over the mountain of Darkest Hour’s solid releases, and has staked its flag at the top. Yes, I’m saying that it’s the best Darkest Hour album ever released. Before you jump down my throat, hear me out… Darkest Hour have always been, in my mind, extremely underrated, especially given their track record and talent. Godless Prophets & The Migrant Flora is yet another powerful assertion as to why they are one of the best in the game. And it’s a god damn celebration of all that rocks about Darkest Hour, bringing you to to this place where the past and present collide. It’s a sonically-impressive and mind-blowing release that has something that fans–both old and new–can raise their hands up to. After listening to this maniacally brilliant masterpiece, I’m trying my best to not be at a loss for words. All I can think to do is pull an Alice Cooper Wayne’s World moment, bow down, and holler, “I’m not worthy”.
Opening up the record is “Knife in the Safe Room”, which absolutely rips and riffs. From the get go, it’s clear that this album isn’t intent on holding anything back as every liberty is taken and every avenue is pursued. Around every corner is pure and utter insanity, especially the spine-tingling guitar solos. There’s something inhuman, almost supernatural, about tracks like “Knife In The Safe Room” and the minds that created it. It’s almost like the mixture between a Picasso and a Monet painting; Not only is it extremely technical with an emphasis on detail, but it is also uniquely expressive and wildly imaginative. This can be heard throughout the entirety of the album, but is really present in tracks like “Timeless Numbers” and “Those Who Survived”. Throughout, John Henry’s monstrous vocals rage over the artful, vicious riffs, vigorous drumbeat, and muscular bass work of Aaron Deal. The vocals, in particular, really need to be celebrated. There’s an undeniable power there that should never go without merit. It almost sounds like Henry is parting the sea with his voice; That’s how staggering it is.
Darkest Hour have always been this magnificent concoction of various genres and sounds, taking the best of what they love and making into something that is completely their own. Those influences are really transient in tracks like “Those Who Survived,” which thrashes hard, but also has this melodic drive. Godless Prophets & The Migrant Flora though multi-dimensional, is a down-right killer and thrasher. Songs like “In The Name of Us All” really highlight this with Orbin ferociously punching the drums while Schleibaum and Carrigan’s dueling guitars wildly twirl around you like a fighter jet then dive bomb into the sea. Everything about this track immolates a giant fireball spinning out of control.
As I said earlier, Godless Prophets & The Migrant Flora is the best Darkest Hour album to date. It parries with finesse and chaos, making it something that is completely awing and jaw-dropping to listen to. I’m not one of those people that’s going to hold their last album release against them, because it is their right to explore and experiment with their sound. When it comes down to it, Darkest Hour are just amazing people making amazing music that speaks to them. Godless Prophets & The Migrant Flora, in particular, is the ultimate celebration of metal, in all forms, and a true depiction of Darkest Hour at their best; An album that speaks to Darkest Hour that will also speak to fans–both old and new–alike.
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