Review Summary: While an improvement overall, little quirks and miscues keep Daath's self-titled from achieving excellence.
To be completely honest, the appeal of Daath has always escaped me. While not expressly bad, Daath have ceased to truly grab my attentions with a worthwhile release. Their brand of groovy death metal has always been fairly intriguing, but never particularly arresting, especially with their gimmicky digitalization and industrial work. Yet Daath are a fairly young band, having only released their first LP merely six years ago. However, their growth and progression can be likened to a steady crawl. Fortunately, the five piece has learned some tricks, albeit very few tricks, with their self-titled album.
To but it plainly, "Daath" is a very straight forward metal experience. The tones and tempos are what one would expect from the band, as well as many other bands from the genre. That is not to be taken as a terrible thing, as Daath seem to pull everything together fairly well. However, the band has a difficult time escaping the more generic aspects of American death metal. At times there can be a disgusting amount of chugging, while the drummer uses blast beats to an insane degree. It’s novel in it’s execution, but offers little in the way of a new experience. From a technical aspect, Daath does an amiable job. While not featuring blatant feats of technicality, "Daath" has its interesting moments. Once again, nothing new, but impressive none the less, especially in context to the music.
Another improvement on "Daath" is its emphasis on variety and diversity. The more digital aspects have been toned down, creating a less gimmicky sound, with a slightly tighter production than before. The band has thankfully done away with most of their industrial influences, and opted for a more straightforward metal. As a whole, the product sounds better than ever. With a few more tricks from the guitarists, and a little better range in respect to the vocals, "Daath" is a sign of growth, even if only slightly. The band is less likely to segue into fits of chugging and bellowing, as songs such as “Oxygen Burn” feature more concise soloing, and an atmospheric ending.
The song choices are fairly strong on "Daath", however, at times the album can sound a tad homogeneous. It takes more than one listen-through to be able to discern between songs, as everything seems to muddle together at times. The emphasis on variety and diversity helps with this issue, but the problem is still present in parts of the album. It is a grower for sure, but the band does a nice enough job at keeping things interesting throughout. “Arch (Enemy), Misanthrope” features a lot of instrumental work and texturing, which makes it a nice song to standout amongst the rest. Both the opener and closer are placed perfectly on "Daath", as they offer a great introduction and closing.
"Daath" is a fine addition to a rather blasé catalogue. It’s groove infused brand of death metal may not offer anything new, but it’s certainly a novel take on a well trodden sound. Sure Daath aren’t breaking new ground, but the album is a solid endeavor none the less. It lacks maturity and refinement, but is a decently great time regardless.