Dark Hours is the sixth full length album from the Swedish heavy metal band Lion's Share, and this time around they have, just like previously, some prominent guests on the album; Conny Pettersson (Anata) on drums and Michael Romeo (Symphony X) on guitar. The album kicks off with the song Judas Must Die, a really powerful song with great riffs and a very catchy refrain, splendidly performed by Patrik Johansson (Astral Doors, Wuthering Heights, Space Odyssey), and it is impossible not to start shaking your head to this and acknowledge a really great song.
This is followed up with Phantom Rider (my personal favourite of the album), and this song contains everything a heavy metal fan could ask for; solos, great riffs and a brilliant vocal effort by Patrik Johansson.
The mid part of this album is a bit slower than the first, with the exception of the song Full Metal Jacket. The riff in this song continues with a very fat sound and a pounding feel to it. This part of the album is in my opinion not as good as the beginning, but that has to do with the fact that I personally prefer fast guitars and powerful drums, but looking at this from a more objective angle it is just as good as the first and last part of the album. The pace picks up again in the last part of the album and hits its creative peak in Barker Ranch.
With Darkest Hours, Lion's Share have delivered a very solid heavy metal album, containing an abundance of great riffs and a very high level of vocal performance. This is an album that really grows on you. It is no big secret that I normally prefer harder and faster metal than this and therefore I was a bit sceptical in the beginning when listening to this album, but after having listened to the album over a period of time, I can not possibly do anything else but admit that this is really great heavy metal album.
With this album, Lion's Share have set the bar high for themselves, and for their next release. One can only hope that they will keep up this kind of high standard metal, and if they do, there is no telling where it might end. I, for one, am most curious and can't wait for the next album.