In a perfect world, whenever a band released a new album, it would be better than anything they had done before. Unfortunately, this is frequently not the case, so it's nice when a band like Impending Doom manages to put out an album that easily trumps anything we've heard from them in the past. There Will Be Violence is that album.
As Impending Doom's third LP, There Will Be Violence offers an infinitely better product than the band's rather dreadful second release, The Serpent Servant. That album was a never ending stream of slow, grinding breakdowns overlaid with presumably creepy-sounding guitar work to accompany the creepy-looking artwork. There Will Be Violence is nearly the exact opposite, as the band abandons their slow grindcore sound for a faster, groove metal sound. As a result, they attack their instruments at full speed and unleash ten crunchy, blistering tracks of unadulterated metal goodness. There are still plenty of breakdowns to be enjoyed, but they are used in a much more tasteful fashion than before.
Behind the band's new-found sense of speed is drummer Brandon Trahan's impeccable performance. He frequently beats the daylights out of his snare drum in frantic blastbeats and is very proficient with the double bass, as displayed on the title track. The overall sense of rhythm and groove as a product is reminiscent of Lance Garvin's work with Living Sacrifice. Guitarist Cory Johnson also deserves mention for his solid riff work. The opening riff of "Peace Illusion" is particularly compelling, as is the instrumental track "Love Has Risen." Vocalist Brook Reeves growls and screams with conviction, and also allows himself to be shown up some with guest vocals from The Acacia Strain's Vincent Bennett on the album's highlight track, "The Great Fear." Tim Lambesis from As I Lay Dying is also featured on "Orphans."
Not surprisingly, the lyrical content is heavy and geared towards the apocalyptic. In "The Great Fear," we are told "I don't care who you are, you're afraid of death, you're terrified by how the world's going to end." Fortunately, Reeves goes on to say that "Hell is coming but I embrace the One who stands alone." There is a significant focus on war and persecution, as befits the album's title, but in the end Reeves declares that "I will never deny my faith!"
There Will Be Violence is the most musically appealing album Impending Doom has released to date. At the risk of sounding trite, it is also their most mature, as they avoid any of the cringe-worthy cliches that were present in prior releases. This year has already seen many excellent metal releases, and There Will Be Violence deserves a spot among the best.- Review date: 7/20/10, written by Timothy Estabrooks of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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