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Review: Dark Haven - Your Darkest Hour
Dark Haven
Your Darkest Hour

Label: Independent
Year released: 2005
Duration: 26:16
Tracks: 5
Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: September 3, 2005
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Your Darkest Hour

Rated 4/5 (80%) (6 Votes)

Now this is the shit. I get so many bland or awful promos that one like this, a really good one, is even more like gold. In fact I think this may be the best damn disc I have ever gotten as an out-of-the-blue promo. Dark Haven are a Death Metal band from southern California firmly in the Gothernburg school, and this, their debut release, absolutely fucking rages. This band is obviously really, really into Dark Tranquility, especially "Damage Done", and since that band, and that album already have legions of worshippers that comes as no surprise. What is surprising is that this bunch of kids has cranked out a demo that is within a hair of being as good as "Damage Done", and in some ways is even better. I was in no way prepared for the locked-in, dead-on metal assault contained on this CD, and the production and the tightness of the performances will get your attention right off. But you'll stay for the songwriting. Dark Haven have already learned how to write killer riffs, and not simplistic ones either. "Nightmare" opens up with a riff as good as anything In Flames or Arch Enemy have ever punched out, and the blistering riff-attack just keeps on going with killer fucking tunes like "Revenant" and the awesome "Blackheart". The last 2 songs are not quite as good as these first three, but they all just kill. The guitarwork is deft, sharp, and heavy as Hell, and the leads are very strong. Bassist/Frontman Brandon McLaughlin has a deadly, urgent scream that lifts his vocals above the drab melodeath norm, and he pulls off some thrashier bits and even some not-bad clean singing here and there. There is a keyboard player in this band, but he doesn't take the lead, only provides backup for the killer metalworks. The lyrics are also way better than the usual Gothenburg drivel.

You can't go wrong with this band, and if you like a good Melodic Death workout with touches of The Crown or even At The Gates, then you will want this disc at any cost. Dark Haven have the stuff to play in the big leagues, and I suppose it is only a matter of time before someone like The End or even Century Media grabs them up and makes them the next big thing. They deserve it. Dark Haven is a name you will hear again, as metal this intense will make some waves. One of the best debuts I have ever heard from any band. Impressive as Hell and highly recommended.

Other related information on the site
Review: Dark Haven (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Fallout (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Interview with Brandon McLaughlin (Bass/Vocals), Nate Falzon (Drums) and Brennan Kilpatrick (Guitar) on October 4, 2005 (Interviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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