Darkest Hour Celebrates 20 Years

Sometimes, things seem to connect in unusual ways that we call coincidences. For example, 2015 happens to be ESP Guitars’ 40th anniversary, but it’s also the 20th anniversary of Washington, DC-based metal band Darkest Hour. It also is a complete coincidence that just as Darkest Hour is launching the tour to celebrate that milestone, ESP has just added guitarist Mike “Lonestar” Carrigan to its family of artists which already included bassist Aaron Deal and band founder Mike Schleibaum.

To help commemorate their two decades of rock, Schleibaum helped put together the video below, where he reminisces about the steps it took to get his band where it is today.

Darkest Hour is led by frontman Mike Schleibaum, who prefers ESP/LTD Eclipse-style guitars. He currently can be seen with both ESP Custom Shop Eclipses as well as the LTD EC-1000FR. “I think of ESP today along the lines of the great guitar manufacturers,” he says. “I’ve always been snooping around high-gain, very responsive guitars, and ESP is at the top of that mountain. I really like the LTD EC-1000FR with the Floyd. I’ve always wanted a single-cutaway guitar with a Floyd, and this one feels perfect. 24 frets? Hallelujah. I can shred up to the second scale, with two full octaves.”

Last fall, bassist Aaron Deal replaced his old bass with an ESP Vintage-4, saying “The first thing I noticed about my ESP Vintage-4 is that the feel and build quality are excellent. All of the details are right. The fretwork is amazing. I immediately felt comfortable playing it. We’re currently on the Mayhem Tour, and temperatures and humidity are all over the place. It will be 60 degrees in one city, and over 100 the next day. It’s the most brutal possible conditions for an instrument, and most basses don’t respond well to severe environmental changes like that. But I’ve had no problems at all with my ESP.”

The most recent Darkest Hour member to join the ESP family is guitarist Mike “Lonestar” Carrigan. He took one look at the new ESP E-II Arrow and said, “I’ve gotta have that!”

Darkest Hour is on tour to celebrate those 20 years of rocking. They'll be performing their acclaimed album Undoing Ruin in its entirety. Get more info here at the band’s website.

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