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After a six-year hiatus from recording, the rejuvenated Orange County, CA hardcore outfit Ignite come out swinging with a vengeance on OUR DARKEST DAYS. Retaining its signature sound, the 14 tracks that adorn this meaningfully masterful release harken back to the band's salad days without any sense of retread or shame. Instead, tracks like "Let it Burn" and "Save Yourself" carry the same vitriolic virtue and socially conscious slam of much of the band's incendiary works, while the rapid-fire "Are You Listening" displays fast-paced melodic hardcore at its best, with a short, punchy delivery and effectively tinged with an air of reservation. In fact, a lot of this disc is laden with these traits, sans the band's last two tracks, the done to death cover of U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and the out of left field acoustic "Live for Better Days". If Ignite stopped at track 12, they'd have an arguably flawless blueprint of what melodic hardcore should entail. Even with these glitches, OUR DARKEST DAYS far and away does the job, approaching these tracks with true passion and conviction in a genre flooded with new jacks constantly wheeling out half-baked product more concerned with being stylish than providing substance.
- Mike SOS