Impending Doom
The Serpent Servant

With 2007s debut, Nailed. Dead. Risen, California’s Impending Doom rustled some feathers and raised some eyebrows with their attempt at  pure, brutal death metal from a Christian viewpoint. On some levels it succeeded, but it also felt a bit forced and gimmicky. So here is the follow up, and I’m glad to say, that for the most part, Impending Doom have dropped their death metal pretenses and simply delivered a more tempered, traditional deathcore record, and the result is far more impressive than the debut.

While still having somewhat of a death metal visage by way of some blast beats and Brook Reeve’s still monstrous bellow (who has to be up there with Catalepsy’s Josh Anderson and former Built Upon Frustration vocalist Jason Hominsky as having blast furnaces for vocal chords), the overall gait of the material is much more reigned in and controlled, now delivering far heavier and some impossibly heavy moments that are more in line with latter Ion Dissonance and The Acacia Strain than the bands Cannibal Corpse/Suffocation wanna be pacing of before.

After the relatively unimpressive opening intro and the title track, which appears to try to be more in line with Nailed. Dead. Risen, the third track, “Anything Goes” literally explodes with the first of many utterly punishing brown note assaults, with a more steady, deliberate pace than relying on blast beats. “Storming the Gates” and “Welcome to Forever” follows suite with just a huge opening grooves and controlled, lurching pace littered with a few blast beats. Then the duo of “More Than Conquerors” and all to brief semi-instrumental “Revival:America” display arguably the album’s heaviest moments. A couple of later tracks try to do a little more of the pure blasting death metal thing (“In the House of Mourning”, “When I Speak”), but although entertaining, they are simply washed away by the bands more restrained but utterly crushing hefty moments as heard on closer “Beginnings”.

With The Serpent Servant along with realeases from ‘label mates’ The Great Commission and Earth From Above, Impending Doom have laid down the gauntlet to other Christian bands as to what heavy yet Christian can truly be. I wonder if With Blood Comes Cleansing will answer the call?

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 20th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: elguerosinfe

    One of the heaviest releases in recent memory. Very satisfying!


  2. Commented by: AARONIUS

    Good review Erik although I never really saw what they were doing on the first album as a “gimmick”. It’s kind of funny how most of the reviewers look to Impending Doom as the first brutal death metal band with Christian themes.

    I think the brutal death metal scene (in christian circles anyway) started as early as the late 80’s or early 90’s with bands like Sacrament (Testimony of Apocalypse- technically considered a thrash band but much heavier than any of the other bands out at that time)or definately Mortification’s “Scrolls of the Megilloth”.

    Anyway, the new ID is a killer album no doubt.

    I really hope With Blood Comes Cleansing steps it up with their new stuff.


  3. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    I once owned Scrolls of the Megilloth on cassette. They were not only Christian, but Australian to boot- which was odd to me- especially at the time.
    Believer was the first Christian band i remember liking.
    with Impending Doom’s first cd it just seemed they were trying really hard to be death metal and forcing the issue.


  4. Commented by: AARONIUS

    Yeah I can see that. I guess since most people have a hard time understanding Christian death metal anyway, most of the bands have to work twice as hard as their secular counterparts, which can at times sound forced.

    I do think Impending Doom made a smart move going in this slightly different direction though.


  5. Commented by: Red

    Am I one of the only people who think that Extol’s Undeceived album is THE album to beat as far as Christian metal is concerned. Anyways, I was very disappointed with this. I was hoping for a more brutal,tech-death type of an album, not just more deathcore to over crowd the already crowded scene


  6. Commented by: AARONIUS

    Extol’s Undeceived is pretty much untouchable. I picked up Obscura’s-“Cosmogenesis” album cause I heard how great it was. While it is very good from a technical standpoint, I can’t remember any of the songs when it’s over. When you can write complex songs that you can still hear when the album is over, then you’ve got something.

    While the Impending Doom isn’t really tech-y I think it is a good brutal deathcore album.


  7. Commented by: vugelnox

    I’m totally out of the loop on this band. I’ve downloaded and listened to both albums and the best response I can come up with is a mystified look on my face as to what the hell I just experienced. Then I promptly deleted said albums.

    I’m only 27 and yet deathcore has the uncanny ability to make me feel very old. Watching bands like Job for a Cowboy or The Faceless as openers at shows, and the very young and strange crowd they draw, just confuses me to no end.


  8. Commented by: Blog › Teeth of the Divine Staff Picks of 2009 › Teeth of the Divine

    […] Impending Doom – The Serpent Servant […]


  9. Commented by: Impending Doom – There will be Violence « Teeth of the Divine

    […] Heaven & Hell, in that Impending Doom are beginning to mature, the fruits of their labor from The Serpent Servant, now beginning to ripen. However, a key difference between the two bands is that they mainly focus […]


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