Impending Doom
There Will be Violence

Like their label brethren, A Plea for Purging, Impending Doom are at that “difficult stage,” in their existence―namely that all important third album―which, as stressed in the APFP review, can be the first step to greatness or to decline.

The progression on There will be Violence, is in ways similar to that of The Marriage of 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 on their strengths and stick closer to what that they have been building on since their debut. If anything, they are even more intently focused on ferocity, injecting even more girth, volume and mosh to their already weighty attack.

Doing so has ultimately assured that this will be the heaviest album that Facedown is going to release this year, but does it mean it’s one of the best ― not only from the label, but in the realms of Christian Hardcore/Metalcore and those genres in general? Especially given that this year has already seen a flood of deathcore/metalcore hybrids that have already left strong impressions.

From my perspective, it is decidedly so, it also sets Impending Doom firmly away from the trendier side of the sound. All things considered, the album won’t be the toast of the media but that’s of little importance. There will be Violence, knows what is, and doesn’t entertain any pretense of being something it cannot be. The opening artillery blanket of “Hell Breaks Loose,” and the title track take less than five minutes between them to emphasize what is, and for the majority of its duration.

These pieces strike not so much surgically, but as a fierce carpet bludgeoning that is executed sublimely, equally obsessive in the continuous pounding but also, with a cold, somewhat clinical mercilessness. The approach reminds of the accentuated, flowing mechanized madness of Dying Fetus, especially circa Stop at Nothing, but not so much in terms of the aesthetic framework of sound, because there are no guttural vocals or overly archetypal death metal riffs here, but more so in the flow, and the way that it moves, that crushing, unforgiving barrage of riffs, beats and bellowing vocals.

However, it must be stressed further that Impending Doom have not returned to the more deathly, earthy and raw nature of their demo and debut album. There Will be Violence, is a lot cleaner and pristine, even compared to previous album The Serpent Servant, everything is even more measured, acute, as well as balanced so that note a single element is wasted, but that everything is deftly harnessed to ensure that maximum carnage is the final result. Additionally, it means they have now purified their base influences to such a fine point that they are no longer dictated by what Suffocation or Hatebreed riff to work on for their own, instead, they are able to direct these ideas into the creation of something holistically theirs.

Take for example “The Great Fear,” it’s built around huge coiling riffs that are rife with little technical sweeps and picks as well as a weighty resonance that simply crushes, driven further by the accompanying rumblings of Vincent Bennett of The Acacia Strain. Even better is penultimate piece “Children of Wrath,” which is anchored by even bigger riffs that seamlessly interlink the grace of Meshuggah with the fanatical mosh tendencies of modern metalcore. The piece’s finale again blends this contrast of approaches skilfully with a face melting breakdown (one of many), to form the perfect synthesis and not leave the contrasting ideas juxtaposed so that they ruin the impact. What both show is not the best of Suffocation or Hatebreed’s back catalogs, but the best of Impending Doom’s ideas.

Mixing together contrasting sounds and ideas, even in genres as incestuous as metal and hardcore is far from revolutionary in 2010. What continues to astound though and perhaps solidifies the fact that bands like Impending Doom can continue to exist, even after three albums is the exploration and continued experimentation with the base influences, honing them, refining them, rather than introducing alien components to develop the sound and avert the threat of stagnation.

Thus, Impending Doom have shown that by drinking plentifully from the pools of hardcore, death metal and grind that a band of this ilk can not only stubbornly survive, but prosper, even in the ever increasingly fickle musical horizon.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Benjamin DeBlasi
September 10th, 2010

Comments

  1. Commented by: JH DOOM

    This stuff is the very definition of “false metal”. I don’t know how anyone can listen to these bands and not resist the urge to vomit uncontrollably.


  2. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    I’ve never heard these guys, but I’m tired of the christian chokehold on metal. it was ours, assholes. go…find your own thing!


  3. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    I thought this was a bit of a step back from The Serpent Servant


  4. Commented by: faust666

    This record bored me so much that I haven’t even looked at it since the first spin.


  5. Commented by: tom957

    Christianity is bad enough, but christian metal is an abomination. Fuck that noise.


  6. Commented by: Reignman35

    Yeah this was a definite step back from The Serpent Servant… the vocals got cleaner which I think ruins the heaviness of their music and is not a good evolution from their first 2 discs.


  7. Commented by: mike

    @tom957

    Ever heard of Becoming the Archetype? Who gives a shit what the lyrical themes are. If it’s quality metal, it is fine by me.


  8. Commented by: gabaghoul

    yeah, Extol and Zao, both Christian metal too, both awesome. it helps that you can’t understand the lyrics though. I tried listening to Hands, which musically was cool, but the constant screaming of “Praise be his name” and other vocal self-flagellations really turned me off.


  9. Commented by: JH DOOM

    Christians need to GTFO of metal or be fed to the lions.


  10. Commented by: Cacophonic

    I enjoy bands on both sides of this particular fence, and must disagree, JH DOOM.

    I really don’t see how a christian band espousing their faith thru their music is any different from a satanic/pagan/jewish band doing the same.
    (ARE there any jewish metal bands?!)

    If it’s the musical skill (or lack thereof) you’re referring to, I’m certain there are as many poorly-skilled heathen bands as there are christian ones, if not more.

    Just my 2 cents, of course.


  11. Commented by: Desperado

    I gave these guys a listen after each album drops on their myspace and recently checked out the latest music video. Musically I find these guys stagnated and trite. It seems most bands in the rough and tumble -core field is struggling to survive in my eyes, as opposed to actually broadening their musical horizons. Granted other bands suffer worse with this, constant genre shifts and borrowing labelled as “experimentation” and “progression” as opposed to developing a sound of their own and growing as a band.

    I honestly think that’s why these genres suffer so many line-up problems, they churn out a timely release that everyone else has done before and better, then suddenly hit the wall dumbfounded as to what direction they should go next. I actually enjoy watching this diverging series of bands that travel down mixed paths. The kids are moving on to new things during the downtime, bands try to catch up with new trends to keep their market, have to make some tough decisions when it comes to what directions they need to go in order to expand their horizons etc.

    My personal views as an atheist are largely irrelevant, but I will say that it does bother me, my life spent in an elitist private christian school and father’s work as a deacon and eventual pastor and missionary has led me to loathe and despise religion in general. Seeing these bands come along and attempt to bring me the message kind of makes it an automatic turnoff, Crimson Armada and Corpus Cristi being huge culprits. I know many guys who “church shred”, and they are all arrogant posers in every sense of the word. Its a business, and business is good.

    Thankfully these bands are not true death nor metal so it is very easy to avoid such acts until encountered in some public domain. I apologize in advance for the long-winded soap-box opera, just felt like talking. I’m happy if people out there enjoy this, but I personally see this genre and most acts being culled as the more original acts find a stronger identity and sound. Just thinking about it, do you see these trend hoppers standing around listening to this ten, twenty or more years from now? I sure as hell don’t, only maybe collectively as a generational progression. I compliment hardcore though, that has remained true to itself and has stood the test of time.


  12. Commented by: Desperado

    Eternal Gray(sp?), Orphaned Land and several more Jewish bands exist and kick ass.


  13. Commented by: xbenx

    Wow, I’m overwhemled and pleased with all the feedback here, thank you all! I can fully understand the backlash against this band, given their hardline stance and “god is coming for us,” lyrics and the music of course, however, I agree with gabaghoul and mike, that there are good, even great Christian bands out there. Extol’s early releases for one were phenomenal, some of the best technical black/death metal of the late 90s, shame they lost their way though when they jumped to Century Media. Two other (incredible in my opinion) Christian bands were Embodyment (early) and Strongarm (all).
    Regarding Cacophonic’s point about heathen bands making bad music, it is bang on, how many god awful bedroom black metal and brOOtal one man death metal bands pollute this earth? And what about all the Nu metal crawling back out of the woodwork. I can see that some would equate Impending Doom to being no less evil than Limp Bizkit, and would even consider them the same in terms of their musical abilities and ideological approach, I would disagree but I’d like to know what everyone else thinks.
    PS: Desperado, very good argument, it was something I was trying to address but would have ended up writing another 1,000 words if I had done so. I doubt that many people listening to this now will be listening to it in 30 years, but then again, who truly knows…


  14. Commented by: vugelnox

    I dislike christian metal but the primary reason I don’t listen to it is because it rarely is any good. I still rather enjoy A Hill to Die Upon and they espouse christian lyrics but they also churn out some pretty fine tunes. Same with some of the older Believer and Extol material. Yet those three are exceptions to the norm.


  15. Commented by: Jordan Itkowitz

    Orphaned Land and Eternal Gray are from Israel but to my knowledge they are not “Jewish” bands. Keep in mind that there’s a large portion of Israelis that are pretty secular.


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