Impending Doom is one of the latest in a never-ending series of metal bands seeking to make an impact in both the Christian and secular industries. Signed to Facedown Records, they released their debut album, the dramatically titled Nailed. Dead. Risen. in 2007. Unfortunately, they've done little to distinguish themselves from the pack, despite a respectable place on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart upon the initial album drop.
Brutality is the focus of this project, so much so that it actually begins to hinder the album's integrity as a work of art, losing its way and eventually trailing off into a series of recycled riffs and tired breakdowns. The first couple tracks demanded my attention because of their sheer heaviness, but after that, I quickly lost interest and ironically found myself turning down the volume so that it would serve as "background music" until I traded it for something with a little more variety. Bass? Check. Drums? Check. Odd time structures? Check. Every element in this project has been used to the point of cliché, and the unoriginality comes to the forefront when this album is compared to other thrash and death metal compositions.
As their name suggests, Impending Doom deals in dark biblical imagery (most of it a part of the apocalyptic variety) set to a soundtrack of shrieks, guttural wails, and painful howls that, for lack of a better descriptor, sound like unto a pig's snorting. They take themselves so seriously that this reviewer found it hard not to roll his eyes at some of the turns of phrase incorporated throughout the project: "We'll crush the walls that dictate where our ministry goes/ this is our church/ this is our worship/ GORSHIP!" The emphasis is theirs. The members of ID define "gorship" as worship of God set to "gore sounding music." While I'm not exactly sure what that incurs, it's obvious that these gentlemen aren't going to back down from what they feel is their calling. What will better serve them in the future is more attention to detail in both production (which, here, is dodgy at best) and songwriting.
A word on the lyrics: it seems the band are genuinely concerned with how their work is viewed in the Christian mainstream; they combat any potential dissent constantly, most aggressively on "Silence the Oppressors." Eventually this theme of defiance runs straight past annoying and headlong into unbearable, as the lost focus takes the spotlight off Christ and defeats what Impending Doom claim is their sole purpose. Their defensiveness is unnecessary, particularly considering the "come one, come all" attitude that makes up much of the modern church.
Impending Doom have potential as a collective of talented metal musicians, but they've yet to find their own unique voice, both literally and figuratively. To put it simply, this is a group of extraordinary artists trapped in a poorly arranged band. Their sophomore effort will most probably be the determining factor in whether or not they manage to make a notable impact in an industry that is becoming more and more receptive to the hardcore genre.- Review date: 5/26/08, written by John "Johnny Whoa" Wofford
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