About Me

My photo
Greetings! My name is Matthew, and I love to listen to all types of metal. I'm a high school English teacher and aspiring writer. I also write reviews for the Metal Utopia webzine!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Impending Doom - "Baptized in Filth" Review

Impending Doom - Baptized in Filth
E1 Records
Genre:  Deathcore

Overall Rating:  8.0 out of 10.0

Brook Reeves (vocals)
Cory Johnson (guitars)
David Sittig (bass)
Brandon Trahan (drums)

1.  Murderer (4:22)
2.  For the Wicked (3:33)
3.  Chaos:  Reborn (3:55)
4.  Deceiver (3:36)
5.  Falling Away (3:41)
6.  Absolute Horror (1:56)
7.  Angry Letters to God (3:11)
8.  Baptized in Filth (2:28)
9.  My Light Unseen feat. Ryan Clark of Demon Hunter (3:42)
10.  Death. Ascension. Resurrection. (4:10)

Impending Doom has taken the metal community by storm and gathered a legion of fans from around the world.  It's safe to say that they are one of the fastest, heaviest, and most committed bands around.  Baptized in Filth is their fourth full-length record and their first signed to E1 music.  Needless to say, the record delivers everything that most fans expected:  it follows a recipe of calculated aggression.  Think a mongoose poised on its hind feet, teeth barred with saliva drooling down its chin, about to launch an attack on a coiled cobra.  Take it a step further and view that serpent as an analogy for Satan and it pretty much sums up the record.  Impending Doom warns their listeners with a stern voice that the end of this world holds no place for the wicked at heart.

So let's talk about the music itself.  The record opens with a solid track, Murderer.  One of the things that I love about this song and a few others on the record is that there is a signature vocal line that's easy to understand and that is repeated with reckless abandon.  Fans (me included) simply love to shriek along with Brook on lines like "I am a murderer."  The record remains fairly strong throughout, and with the exception of Falling Away (a mishmash of average boredom) I would say that there aren't any bad songs or glaring mistakes.  Impending Doom manages to mix in the the right amount of breakdowns and aggression.  Melody for the most part lurks behind dissonant chords and veiled riffs, but I breathed a sigh of relief as I was listening to My Light Unseen.  I love it when a band collaborates with another band (barring Lady Gaga or Bieber) so I was quite happy that they chose Ryan Clark of Demon Hunter.  He brings welcomed variation to the record.  Maybe Demon Hunter will return the favor on their upcoming album...

All in all, Baptized in Filth is a solid mark in the discography of a popular, talented band.  I wasn't slavering like a starving mutt staring at a juicy pork chop, but I was pleasantly satisfied.  Impending Doom fans and fans of deathcore in general will want to pick this album up.  Below is a breakdown by track, for those of you who are interested.

Murderer is an aggressive song that sets the pace for the whole record.  It's everything that fans have come to love about Impending Doom:  fast, shredding guitar chords amplify glorious breakdowns and beastly, heartfelt shrieks of "I am a murderer!"  Not bad at all.

For the Wicked is a driving force that throbs in the ear drums and slams the back of the skull with a splitting hammer.  An abrasive, minor chord sets up growls of "Take the number you've chosen.  666 is one with the fallen."  Yeah, we've all heard it in metal before...but this time it's the wicked that had better run and hide!

So far so good, but I'm wanting something a little bit different, with a more varied song structure.  Chaos:  Reborn borrows a page from There Will Be Violence, but ultimately fails to set itself on a pedestal.  This song brings nothing new to the slaughter, although the signature riff contained within its walls of sound is  refreshing.

Deceiver begins with atmospheric drums and a chugging bass line.  Then anarchy ensues and the listener is pulled into a song chock full of dissonant guitars, tight drumming, and a few good ol' bass drops. Whispered vocals provide variation and a build-up toward the end of the song.

Every been tempted to hit the skip button?  Falling Away is definitely not the shining star of the record.  If anything, it pulls the band down towards mediocrity.  The song does begin to redeem itself towards the end with a different, softer section, but then launches into a typical breakdown and I'm falling away from the keyboard as my eyelids grow tired.

What's this?  A melodic intro?  Absolute Horror is nothing complicated, but it has a creepy tone with some sweet background drumming.  While short, it's a great change of pace and gets me back into the record.

Groove.  It's something that Impending Doom has recently discovered, especially with their last record.  The guitars on Angry Letter to God are very groove-oriented and drive the crushing song forward.

Baptized in Filth definitely deserves to be the title track.  Quite possibly, it's one of the fastest, heaviest songs that the band has written (which is saying something).  Needless to say, I think I now have stomach ulcers after this song...

Ryan Clark, you are simply amazing.  I was really, really happy when I found out that Impending Doom was collaborating with one of my favorite artists of all time.  Some hardcore fans of the band might be turned off.  In fact, I can imagine them raging.  Well, come sit down on my lap and let's learn a lesson.  Music is more than just breakdowns and bloodcurdling shrieks (although I love my share of both).  The band made a really smart move here:  My Light Unseen does wonders for the overall pace of the record.    So yes:  an Impending Doom ballad now exists.

How a record ends is critical.  Impending Doom does not fail in this account:  Death. Ascension. Resurrection. is a monster.  The song showcases the talent of the band and leaves the listener on a positive note.  The three words separated by periods also invokes the band's first album and the title track (Nailed. Dead. Risen.).


How did I come up with my rating?  Well, I have this little scale that isn't technical at all, but merely shows how I enjoy the album.

1-2 (Poor - throw it in the trash, give it to your dog to chew on)
3-4 (Not very good, probably a waste of money - but there's been worse)
5-6 (Average, but not exactly knocking my socks off)
7-8 (Pretty darn good.  The band's got what it takes to be a favorite of mine)
9-9.9 (Excellent.  Will be on repeat for a very long time)
10.0 (Perfect rating.  Doesn't really exist)

Let me know what you think!

1 comment:

  1. Solid review, I'm working on one myself. This album is awesome though!