Review Summary: Daath return after dropping their industrial influenes and deliver a decent if not brilliant effort, showing that with a little more focus and ambition they still have the talent to release a brilliant album.
My first experience with Dååth was in a dank, sweaty metal club in Portsmouth. I was there because it was the birthday of one of my best friends, and we were there awaiting main act Underoath when a shaggy, long haired band from Atlanta took to the stage to play their short stint first. Anticipating a generic American heavy metal act and without giving them a chance I upped and left for the bar, thinking nothing of them... until they started playing. Combining melodic death metal and industrial influences the sound was brutal, dense and by far the heaviest of the night. In fact they were the best act of the night, after that immense wall of sound Underoath didn’t stand a chance, and while performing well memories of the night belong to Dååth. That was in 2007 when Dååth were a relatively unknown entity promoting their debut major-label album The Hinderers
. Heavy without being overwhelming and experimental without being overly schizophrenic The Hinderers
delivered everything that first encounter promised and although somewhat outstaying its welcome, was one of the years pleasant surprises.
After losing vocalist Sean Farber and keyboardist Mike Kameron it would be understandable if The Concealers
sounded incomplete and although new vocalist Sean Z doesn’t deliver the growls quite as well as his namesake did on The Hinderers
the overall sound of the band feels if anything more complete than it did on their debut. Having dropped most of the industrial influences with the keyboard The Concealers
favours an out and out death metal approach and with this Dååth seem to have found their niche. While they bring nothing new to the death metal roster, with generic thrash riffs and a multitude of blast beats dominating proceedings, the meticulous care taken not only in these but in the less generic guitar wanderings found in the more risqué tracks gives the album a sense of completeness that The Hinderers
Album opener Sharpen The Blades
lets up for all of six seconds before the blistering impact of the drums enter the fray. After an instrumental intro the album opens in an explosion of sound, with the raw hoarse bellow of Sean Z well placed against the pounding drums and meandering guitars. The relentless onslaught continues with Self-Corruption Manifesto
that is if anything heavier that the opener. Another good track it builds on the first, but it soon becomes apparent that the two are similar in many ways. In truth this is true for most of the album, the originality that Dååth showed so well in The Hinderers
has all but dispersed. In fact if it wasn’t for the brilliance of the albums two highlights then Dååth may as well be the new Lamb Of God.
The Unbinding Truth
is the first hint of greatness on the record with a crisp melodic intro making way for a densely packed aural paradise with a groovy central riff. The broken sound to the outro is very well done and stands out as one of the only daring moments on the album. ...Of Poisoned Sorrows
is another highlight combining the best of the guitar interplay with interesting gruff vocals and the most astute rhythm performance on the record. This track is also the most prominent hint towards the genre mixing shown in The Hinderers
with a distorted slow tempo outro suggesting doom metal influences.
The production on the record definitely a step backwards. James Murphy, known for his work with death metal legends Death and Testament has been dropped for the rather less illustrious Mark Lewis / Jason Suecof duo of Trivium and Chimaira fame. The metalcore background of the chosen duo definitely makes itself known and while The Concealers
is clearly not a ‘-core’ album, some of the passages distinctly feel like it. It gives for an odd, if not wholly undesirable effect and although the glossier production suits the music less than the raw ‘rough around the edges’ approach on The Hinderers
it does has its benefits as well as its disadvantages. On track that severely suffers in particular from the production is Wilting On The Vine
, an overly polished generic metal song that marks the albums low point in terms of originality and uniqueness. Nevertheless the majority of the record neither gains nor loses much from this change, and as the album comes to a close the rawer elements of Dååth make themselves shown, not altogether too late.
Overall The Concealers
is a better record than The Hinderers
. Although multiple band members have left and the industrial quotient of the music that initially made the band stand out has been dumped, Dååth have soldiered on and become a tighter outfit because of it. Initially the album may come off as a safe option and while this is true for the majority of the music here a few tracks in particular stand out and the natural flair shown on these highlights more than hints towards greatness. Yes there is nothing new bought to the table, but the subtle hints towards genre-crossover in the albums finest moments promise a hunger and ambition that has the possibility of turning into an exceptional album in the near future, so long as this line-up stays together.
The Unbiding Truth
...Of Poisoned Sorrows
Overall 3.5 Great