Darkest Hour have exclusively revealed to Noisecreep that they have signed a brand new record deal with E1, thus ending their long and tumultuous relationship with Victory Records.

"We are at the end of [our latest] touring cycle and we are going to be playing a kid's house, since he won the contest, which was to have Darkest Hour play at your house, and we'll be playing in Grafton, Ohio," guitarist Mike Schleibaum told Noisecreep. "He invited his entire school and we are going to play on his mom's deck on April 18. I am sure the cops will come after the first 20 minutes. It's part of the fun. We talked to his parents, and it's kind of a fitting end for the touring cycle. We were playing houses when we started 15 years ago. We will play this show, then go into hibernation. We have been writing the E1 record for a few months, but we will hibernate and get it finished."

A title and a producer have yet to be locked down, although Schleibaum did hint at who the band would like to hire for the gig. But more information should be coming down the pike in the next few weeks in that regard. "We have more material than we had on our last record, but there is nothing I would consider a complete song you could jam right now," Schleibaum said. "It's in the informational collection stage. We write as much as we can and then revise. Writing is hard, rewriting is better. I write songs all week long and then rip through them."

The band was respectful about moving on from Victory after all eight years and five albums. "It's a perfect time to air any laundry we may have, but I don't want to do that," Schleibaum said. "I know it's disappointing to not do that. We started touring in 1995. I was 16. The first three records shaped the band's sound, and then 'Undoing Ruin' was recorded in a way to sound like modern metal. We feel like this is our chance to say this is the 'adult' version of Darkest Hour. Not as in 'not fun' for kids, but this will be the sound of 30-year-old men playing metal for 15 years. This is a shot for us to roll the band out in a different way."

Schleibaum was careful not to trash his former label haunts, as he considers many of the staffers to be friends. "Not that Victory era was bad," he mused. "But as an artist, you are always looking to find what you are about musically and artistically. We are looking forward to opportunity to present the band in a new way. Doing this band for so long, getting a chance to do that at this stage is pretty awesome."

As for further teaser info, Schleibaum couldn't and didn't say too too much, but we won't hold that against him! "It's a changing of the guard in a way," he said. "It's so amazing to say you've been in a band this long and feel this positive. It's that second breath that we can't believe we have gotten. So many people told me -- drunk or sober -- that we have toed the line this long. This is a band of guys who are addicted to music and are not going anywhere. Are you tired of seeing Darkest Hour on all your favorite metal tours? Too bad, because we are not going away. I love metal!"