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Christian Deathcore at its Finest - 95%

Sniper1124, November 14th, 2012

For starters, there are many Christian deathcore bands out there; In the Midst of Lions, Underneath the Gun, With Blood Comes Cleansing, etc. But what makes Impending Doom stand out among the rest is that it’s not only one of the heaviest deathcore albums there is, but because of the sheer guttural power of Brook Reeves’ vocals.

The guitars gurgle throughout and the drums are impressively technical and fast for deathcore (think along the lines of later Misericordiam speed), but the vocals are what steal the show. Brook Reeves’ vocals sound like a freight train bulleting down a tunnel about to crush all the sinners that ever doubted Christianity. The breakdowns are brutally simplistic, with single, double, and triple note variations slowly chugged out. Over the breakdowns Reeves’ voice changes between low shouts (almost hardcore-esque) and gutturals that sound like they’re coming from Big Chocolate himself. The breakdowns aren’t drawn out too long and aren’t littered throughout every song (usually one per song).

From the first main track, My Nemesis, it's clear that they mean business. The guitars are tuned down to Dying Fetus level and deliver an immediate punishment to the listener. Unlike most deathcore bands, they vary both their time signatures and breakdown patterns to keep their audience captivated. The highlight of the album comes at the third track, "In Reverence of." The song starts off with strong grind elements, very similar to something along the lines of brutal death metal. At about a minute and a half in, there is a slow build up into one of the heaviest breakdowns on the album. The recording of the breakdown is heavier on their "Sin and Doom of Godless Men" album, but only because it has Brook's gutturals/squeals layered over the raw production of the breakdown. Nailed.Dead.Risen.'s version of the breakdown has much cleaner production and helps deliver a low-tuned breakdown that would surprise even long time deathcore fans.

The only thing that detracts from the album is the redundancy of some of the songs. The songs without a central breakdown lack variety and are often overlooked and generally skipped by myself. However, considering it's such a small portion of the songs themselves, it really is only a small detraction. The songs themselves are still solid songs in and of themselves, but in comparison to the overarching power of the rest of the album, they come up rather short in the grand scheme of things.

In comparison to other deathcore albums, this is a phenomenal album. The fact that they’re growling about Christianity instead of sodomy (Annotations of an Autopsy) and being commercially successful is in and of itself impressive. Between skull-shattering breakdowns, brain pummeling drums, and some of the lowest guitar tones in deathcore, this is a must have for anyone who enjoys Christian metal, deathcore, or brutal death metal.

Best tracks:

My Nemesis, In Reverence of, Nailed. Dead. Risen., Condemned