Review Summary: In a sea full of unoriginal bands, Impending Doom has nothing new to offer. They still manage to put out a good sophomore, though.
On September 4, 2007 Impending Doom released their debut album Nailed. Dead. Risen.
on Facedown Records, marking their place as one of the most "brutal" Christian bands around. Quite a bit of the feedback the album received was decently good, but many complained the album was too repetitive and boring. Others, such as myself, met somewhere in the middle saying it was a good debut, but after a few listens became a bit boring. So what has changed on the band's sophomore release? Not much.
The Serpent Servant
starts off When Waters Run Deep
, which morphs in the album-titled in a way that it feels as if both are one song. Both feel pretty slow and chug their way through without changing much, giving the album a slightly unimpressive start. Luckily, the third track, Anything Goes
, differs itself from the first two by starting with horror-esque guitars, which are repetivelly used in the tracks that follow, and becomes a much more energetic and interesting song than the first two. The majority of the rest of the album follows in Anything Goes
' footsteps with similar chugging and song patterns and only a few major differences.
As far as guitars go, The Serpent Servant
follows Nailed. Dead. Risen.
's pattern of chug-chug-chug-breakdown-cool riff-chug. Nothing original or necessarily impressive about the guitars except they do manage to throw in a few more riffs, but the majority of the guitarwork is simple palm-muting. The second half of the album does have a little more variety, though. Besides some few, rare parts; bass is almost non-existent like most of Impending Doom's genre-mates and serves no purpose except for backing up the guitar. Drumming has definitely improved. There's still alot of blast-beats, but the drummer seems to show more variation in his overall playing. Blast beats fit better with the music and other beats are executed very well.
The Serpent Servant
still has the blatantly Christian lyrics apparent on Nailed. Dead. Risen.
, but they seem to be more heart-felt. Some of the more Christian-oriented lyrics are present on tracks such as Beginnings
where lyrics such as:
I can’t wait till I’m dead only to live again. Where Your glory and I meet. This is where I begin!
The lyrics do stick to the generic "core" theme of fighting against yourself, pursuing through struggles, and questioning the world, but do feel "deeper" than most "core" bands. There's nothing original about the lyrics, but they are still written very well.
The band decides to stick to ever-so-popular breakdown-full song structure trend. Yet, Impending Doom can pull off an excellent breakdown at times. While not every breakdown is excellent, when they pull off a good breakdown the want to headbang engulfs you. This is only made better by some excellent production by As I Lay Dying
's Tim Lambesis. Tim really manages to make this album much more listenable than its predecessor and he helps take away some of the repetitiveness on the album by throwing in some different effects from time to time, which end up helping. This is probably most apparent on tracks such as Revival: America
Vocals haven't changed much, but they've definitely gotten better. They still are deep, harsh, and repetitive, but there's more of a variety. While the vocals are mainly the deep growls that were on their debut, vocalist Brook Reeves definitely hits more mid-range screams this time around and makes his growls less un-intelligent sounding. It's not a big change, but it does make the album more listenable.
Overall, The Serpent Servant
is a solid sophomore album in a genre full of non-original bands. It's not an original album though in the slightest and if you didn't like Nailed. Dead. Risen.
, you most likely won't like this at all. Still, it's a fun listen and is much better and listenable than their debut.
In The House Of Mourning