(Who could have predicted that our first post of 2014 would be… DGR’s review of Impending Doom’s latest album?)
It feels weird for this to be my first review of 2014, but this is one of those discs that has been gnawing at me to be reviewed since it hit, considering how much I’ve listened to it since it came out in early November. Covering -core bands like this one is not the usual fare for NCS. We’ve long made a big deal about how if we don’t enjoy an album, then we’re probably not going to write about it, and with the -core genres currently suffering from a transformation into one homogenous mass of breakdowns, verb-the-noun names, and splatter font, it becomes more and more difficult to get around even to the groups that you would consider the stalwarts and veterans of the genre. That’s especially true in the case of deathcore, where it has long seemed that if you found roughly three bands to follow, then you really didn’t need to listen to anyone else; you would get everything that was happening in that scene through your chosen trinity.
It makes things difficult, because you have groups like Impending Doom in that mix, who, religious quibbles aside, feel like a band’s band. They’re known for always being busy and, like clockwork, pounding out new discs filled with their pared-down-to-its-very-core-elements brand of deathcore. They’re one of those bands that I’ve felt have always improved their sound with every disc. Every cycle has brought a new awareness of differing styles and whole new pools of riffs, reinforcing what makes the formula of that band so solid. Over time the breakdowns have become much thicker, the lyrics more violent, and the songs more groove-oriented.