Darkest Hour formed in 1995, in Virginia, with vocalist John Blakemore Henry, bassist Raul Mayorga, drummer Matt Maben, and guitarist Michael Schleibaum.
Darkest Hour released their first CD shortly after forming on Death Truck Records in 1996. The album, entitled "The Misanthrope", was poorly received by many, but is considered foreshadowing of what was to come.
Soon after, East Coast Empire Records approached them to do a track for a compilation entitled "The Harder they Come". The album featured some of the works of bands like Hatebreed and Despair.
After the recording of their second CD in 1999 on Art Monk Contruction, "The Prophecy Fulfilled", Raul Mayorga was replaced with Billups Allen. "The Prophecy Fulfilled" was much more organized and clean then "The Misanthrope" and is definitly a CD worth getting if you want something more similar to the current style.
In the coming months, Darkest Hour did a split seven inch with a band they really get along with, Ground Zero. If you get the chance, pick it up, it's a great record with a great track that can only be found on it called "Faith Like Suicide", and it's one of my favorites.
Shortly after, Matt Maben was asked to leave the band. He was replaced by new drummer Ryan Parrish, and a new guitarist Fred Ziomek. With the current line-up, Darkest Hour was now officially ready to tear-up the world with "The Mark of the Judas", one of the most beautiful and destructive albums ever recorded. The band signed a deal with MIA Records, and released "The Mark of the Judas" in 2000. Darkest Hour was at the height of their career, until the label dissolved on the day "The Mark..." was released. The band remains upset and angry to this day, and have commented on how its to bad that the record label has all the rights to such an amazing album.
Some where along the way, Victory Records, home of such hardcore acts as Earth Crisis and Snapcase, got hold of "The Mark of the Judas" and had heard about the band's trouble with labels. Victory invited the band to play in Chicago and loved the set. The band was officially signed just a few weeks thereafter.
In the summer of 2001, they dropped the Victory smash, "So Sedated, So Secure". Soon after the recording, Billups Allen, bassist since the Prophecy Fulfilled days, left the band and was replaced by Paul Burnette.
Recently, "The Mark of the Judas" has been re-released in Europe under Join the Team Player Records. Also, they did a split 5 inch (like a seven inch but smaller) with a Join the Team Player act, Dawncore. I still have yet to hear it but it will come with time.
In more recent news, Fred has decided to leave the band after having problems with his fiance, and he didn't want to be on tour as much as the other guys. It is unsure if Darkest Hour will get a replacement or not, but at the Gainsville fest in Florida they did have a stand in.
Mike Garrity has been filling the shoes of missing guitarist now for the last dates of Darkest Hour tours. DEP left the tour with Darkest Hour and All Else Failed shortly in to go to Europe to tour with System of a Down. Currently, Darkest Hour are going out with The Crown across the nation, and are rumored to be possibly heading back to Europe for another leg of their non stop tour.
John Henry - Vocals
Mike Schleibaum - Guitar
Paul Burnette - Bass
Ryan Parrish - Drums
Mike "Good Time" Garrity - Guitar
Matt Maben - Drums
Raul Mayorga - Bass
Billups Allen - Bass
Fred Ziomek - Guitar