ALBUM REVIEW: Darkest Hour – Perpetual I Terminal

Let’s go back to a time before Metalcore became big business, got overcrowded and then rose to prominence again. Back to before it had become a dirty word due to musical abortions like Falling in Reverse or Emmure completely shitting the bed.

No, there was an era prior to major labels taking chances on stalwarts like Poison the Well and Atreyu. We called it the nineties and we had bands like Darkest Hour.

Yes kids, there was the fusion of Metal and Hardcore before MySpace (hell, that reference may be dated as well). We’re not going whole hog on the history of that sub-genre now, as that would take thousands of words that will be typed at another time. Just know that in 1995 we had Darkest Hour and in 2024 we still have them with their latest release, Perpetual I Terminal (MNRK Heavy).

Yes, just shy of thirty years in this unforgiving business and Darkest Hour still have the goods. Perpetual I Terminal rips off the line with a title track chock-full of smooth melodic guitars, frantic tempos and memorable hooks.

That propulsive chaos is properly followed up on “Societal Bile” which should be a deft reminder to anyone who may have forgotten that this is the same band who gave us scathing commentary-laced melodic fury on albums like Hidden Hands of a Sadist Nation.

Unfortunately, a common setback for artists in the heavy music world is that over time you will part ways with members. That said, Darkest Hour has turned that into an advantage here as recruiting former Suicidal Tendencies guitarist Nico Santora to replace the departing Mike Carrigan pays dividends.

There was already some searing fretwork on “The Nihilist Undone”, but business really picks up later on the track when his leads are woven with acoustic flourishes. Santora is brilliant throughout Perpetual I Terminal, but “New Utopian Dream” should serve as a nice standout.

The boys have still got it.

Buy the album here:


8 / 10