Pittsburgh, PA-based label A-F Records has set an October 3 release date for a collection of DARKEST HOUR's early recordings prior to the band's signing with Victory. Entitled "Archives", the set will mark DARKEST HOUR's ten-year anniversary and will feature over an hour of rare and unreleased material, including the Washington D.C.-based band's recordings as early as "The Misanthrope" EP, recorded in 1995 while the members were in high school. It continues the band's output with "The Prophecy Fulfilled" from 1997 and singles from vinyl as late as 1998.
Commented guitarist Mike Schleibaum: "This is the first puzzle piece for DARKEST HOUR, the spark that lit the fire for us. This was our FIRST BAND and what you hear is music written for the right reason, it's not career-driven or funded by a big label. Hell, we paid for all of the recordings ourselves. Because we had no money we would buy gear from a music store by the studio, use it to record and return it when we were done. On the 'Prophecy Fufilled' EP we had no money to remix the record so we tracked the guitars in our friend's bathroom and then overdubbed that shit and released it like that. Back then you did anything and everything to put a record out."
With the "Archives" album, the band was finally able to remaster the songs properly and give the recordings the extra oomph they couldn't afford when they were kids. "It brings out the songs a lot better than the original recordings. It's kind of like tricking out an old car," Schleibaum comments. Replete with liner notes written by the band and friends involved "Archives" also gives a unique perspective on how driven a band had to be before the Internet. "Before MySpace, Hot Topic and MTV's interest, metal, hardcore and punk was such a subculture that you really had to go out of your way to get people to find out about your record," says Schleibaum. "I remember driving around D.C. putting up flyers to walking around to every show that happened in town trying to sell our record by hand."