Impending Doom was one of the deathcore bands that released their debut in 2007, which was the year deathcore exploded. I’m not going to talk a whole lot about the whole history of deathcore and about the 2007 era because I do that in plenty of my other reviews. In case you’re new to deathcore, Suicide Silence, Whitechapel, Attila, Emmure, Carnifex, I Declare War, Born of Osiris, Rose Funeral, After the Burial, From the Shallows, Impending Doom, and countless other huge and underground deathcore bands ALL released their first album in the year 2007. Yes, 2006 was a fairly active year with debuts released by Burning Skies, Bring me the Horizon, As Blood Runs Black, and Veil of Maya; but with the long list of bands I have from 2007 above, it’s obvious enough that 2007 was that year. Ok, now that I’ve given you the ultra-basics of deathcore history, let’s talk about one of the first deathcore albums that I ever listened to, which is by Impending Doom.
Here’s an interesting thing, I don’t ever remember absolutely loving this album. But I don’t have any negative memories regarding this album except for almost temporarily losing my voice after I learned the lyrics to the title song. So even though I’ve never been MAJORLY impressed by Impending Doom, there’s still a very strong sentimental connection that I have with this band because this was one of the first albums that I listened to when I first got that spark of extreme interest and hunger for this angry, extreme music. One last background thing before we talk about the actual album itself. I actually quickly lost interest in Impending Doom about a year or so after getting this because they never stuck out to me as being amazing and I was discovering (literally) hundreds of other metal bands every two months, so I was distracted from them. I was aware of their sophomore release when it came out, but I never bothered to listen to it. After that, I almost COMPLETELY forgot about these guys until I saw advertisements this year showing the release date of their fourth album. What inspired me to go back and listen to this album (and the rest of their discography) was when I saw them play an absolutely crushing show this year on the Metal Alliance Tour just a couple of weeks ago.
Impending Doom has always been pure, generic, traditional deathcore. So if you’re looking for something new, go away, you won’t find it here. I, personally am a huge fan of the better generic deathcore bands out there, so the fact that these guys aren’t progressive doesn’t pose as a disappointment for me. I will tell you that out of all the deathcore albums that were released in 2007, this was definitely one of the heaviest. So this album is more on the heavier side of things. The guitars on the album don’t have a really tight and choppy sound at all. Instead, they have an extremely big and thick sound that’s actually really powerful and crushing. The song structure is what you would expect out of deathcore; a mix of fast buildups that explode into brutal breakdowns. Some of the tracks have more breakdowns than others, but none of them are completely composed of simple and repetitive breakdowns. Also, due to the immense brutality that the music ends up releasing, none of the breakdowns are super bland and disappointing; all of the breakdowns pound you into the ground.
The vocalist was not ready to be on this album when they recorded it. The reason why is because his exhale growls are extremely underdeveloped, and he uses way too much inhaled growls and pig squeals. Although his vocals match the brutality of the music, they aren’t what I would consider to be exceptional and professional deathcore vocals. And yes, there are other cases where I enjoy growls that have a bit of a yelling sound, but not here. You can tell on this album that this guy isn’t doing it on purpose; he’s doing it because he can’t get that really deep and powerful sound out that the music demands of him.
Other than that, everything is generic and traditional deathcore sound and style. I would only recommend this to fans of PURE deathcore and people who want to hear something from deathcore’s early history. Even though I still have a strong sentimental connection with these guys and still would go crazy if they played at a show I was at; from a critical point of view, this album is mediocre. So 10/20 for this one. But that does not mean it’s bad at all, it just has nothing special about it other than being a part of one of the most important years the death metal genre has ever seen.