Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Ditheramb - Darkest Hour

Hear The Track Here

The Kinghorn brothers (Steve and Scott), Jack Greenhill and Glenn Townsend collectively known as Ditheramb have - in the space of a year - carved themselves out quite a reputation for fiery, rock based tracks and have a lot of credibility from this reviewer. I got some cute metal ears after having spent many years getting blown from wall to wall by this heavy metal band or that one. Fact is, it's a bit like chocolate, if you worked in a chocolate factory, you wouldn't want to eat any of it would you? That was my feeling about heavy metal until I happened across this Australian band in October 2005, since then I have had a severe adjustment about the state of metal...

In a nice way, of course

After the small joys of Premis (June 2006) a very short acoustic rock guitar peice, I was ready for something meatier from the band, so they put up Darkest Hour - an older track apparently. Never a band to ever do anything by halves, Ditheramb go from the sublime to the ridiculous. Where Premis is a mere one minute and change, Darkest Hour is a monster eight minutes - talk about different shades... I don't think the production is as clear and all encompassing as their later works but that's only to be expected and no-one would probably spot that difference anyway. What they would say is that whats here is produced to a high standard although IMHO it lacks the space/headroom whatever you call it for a track of this size and scope. The track itself, in tone and content, is an epic of the first order veering wildly between several different streams of guitar based rock.

All so far, so Ditheramb...

Again though, where Darkest Hour scores highest is where this excellent band's real talents lie; songwriting, arranging and playing rock music that truly deserves that honorific. Darkest Hour is d-r-e-n-c-h-e-d in guitar licks, as befits the genre, but it's guitar playing of a quality you won't hear in much of todays rock music. Ditheramb stretch back into the past for their inspiration and their respect for their musical roots is evident; Darkest Hour is a classic example of what Ditheramb bring to the term rock - of whichever stripe you require. For example I hear prog rock, surfer rock, blues rock and a million other variants in this track. Had I heard it without knowing that it was an older Ditheramb track I would still have made the point about the crispness and sharpness of the mix, but the music at it's heart is still pure Ditheramb and that is priceless. They are definitely a contender for some accolades towards the end of the year. Older Ditheramb maybe, but still packs the regular punch; ka-fekkin-POW!

Highly recommended rock.

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