Review: “The Sin And Doom Vol. II” by Impending Doom

It’s been 5 long years since 2012’s “Death Will Reign” and Riversdale Californian Deathcore quintet Impending Doom have finally returned to claim their crown. Frontman Brook Reeves and guitarist Manny Contreras maybe the only two remaining original members of the line-up but there have been no line-up changes in those 5 years, the last being rhythm guitarist Eric Correa (Oblige, The Devastated) signing up. So how does new album “The Sin and Doom Vol. II” weigh up against the current scene players, the likes of Bohemian Grove, Chelsea Grin & Traitors?

Starting with an eerie and atmospheric sample of digitised laughter before the a powerful opening guttural growl from Brook Reeves “The Wretched and Godless” kicks things off with DJent-inspired rhythms and eerie lead guitars creating a dark ambience during a single versed introduction piece. “Burn” then takes things up a notch using of kilter drum fills and an off time signature to build its atmosphere. The openness of the verse sections provides for a slow pummel with the talents of sticks man Brandon Trahan in evidence. The slow build of “War Music” takes from it’s predecessor and adds to it’s foundations creating a darkness and working around it with swirling patterns of crushing down tuned breakdowns, slow eerie leads and pummelling drums work. “EVIL” steps up the pace with a driven down tuned riff from Manny Contreras accompanied by Reeves trademark bark. As the breakdowns begin to pile up, Reeves takes a moment, dropping to a building harsh whispered “I won’t stand for this” into a scream before the song cuts prematurely to a dead stop. Buried electronics bring “Paved With Bones” to life before David Sittig’s pounding bass lines and some staccato guitar breaks that bring an almost DJent inspired pre-chorus. The lyrics are slightly cringe worthy in places but some of the brutal footwork and delivery of the song is to be admired. The second half kicks in with Brooke Reeves reminding us that the band are Christian and what we are listening to in the bands music is “Gorship” – a portmanteau of gore and worship. The lyrics maybe off-putting for some in their direct nature but the vocal delivery is bludgeoning and the music packs plenty of punch. “The Serpents Tongue” has a whispered start before it’s Death Metal sounds come to life before it’s surprise “Blegh!”. The skull pounding drum work and off-kilter riffage before breakdown upon breakdown sounds like the work of Satan and this gives us an amusing contradiction in terms.

“Unbroken” is a far more straightforward song, a call to arms for the band to show what they’re made of in the face of any and all adversity. Again, Brandon Trahan’s kit work shines, as does the production value and mix of the bands sound in the studio. Indeed, going back to their debut album producer Christopher Eck was an inspired choice as he clearly has a great understanding of the inner workings of the band and what they are looking to achieve with this album. “Devil’s Den” features some dark spoken word lines during the chorus which stands by making the lower toned vocals sound heavier and darker. Anvil heavy controlled breakdowns give a rise and fall groove of power and energy, while the lead lines and dark contrast. Lead single and pre-album release music video meant “Everything’s Fake” was a known entity of quality dark matter, one of the better cuts on the album. It’s brutal bounce breakdown staccato riffage give way to Reeves social commentary that delivers the best lyrics on the album and perhaps the first proper accompaniment to this ridiculous and powerful vocal ability. Buried electronics and an inspired alternative choice for a different guitar solo makes it a stunner. Closer “Run For You Life (She Calls)” takes more of a chance than the rest of this come back album. It’s programmed intro is quickly replaced by a pounding drum pattern before the opening lyrics and guitar patterns that might have you fooled into thinking you’re listening to a remix. It’s not until the pile driver mid-section breakdowns and brutal gutturals kick in that you know that isn’t the case. The choice to use a chorus that has it’s roots in more of an industrial sound with darker, slower vocal tone takes a chance and moves away from the core sound. It’s taken 5 years to bring Impending Doom back around to where they want to be and get this album under their belt. It’s got plenty to give and grows on the listener with each rotation, the musicianship is incredible in places but what holds it back is it’s lyrics. The cringe worthy moments become less so with each rotation and after a while they become endearing, though there will always be a question over whether it gets enough listens to do that. However it is a short and sweet affair which helps with that point. [7/10]

Track list

  1. “The Wretched and Godless”
  2. “Burn”
  3. “War Music”
  4. “EVIL”
  5. “Paved With Bones”
  6. “The Serpents Tongue”
  7. “Unbroken”
  8. “Devil’s Den”
  9. “Everything’s Fake”
  10. “Run For You Life (She Calls)”


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