Review Summary: Impending Doom's fifth outing is nothing new: 46 minutes worth of extreme heaviness and breakdowns.
Impending Doom is one of those bands that, throughout the years, never seemed to know what kind of band they wanted to be. From the slam album Nailed.Dead.Risen. to the melodic There Will Be Violence, there was never a smooth transition from album to album. Then Baptized in Filth arrived. It was extremely heavy, with a few twists and turns every now and then to keep you interested. So what's the next step for Impending Doom? Do they go back to their slam roots? Or do they revive the melody? The answer is neither. They continue their path down the road of heaviness. But it's become blatantly clear that they don't care about anything except that: being as heavy and as bleak as possible, and the music suffers because of it.
If this album was judged solely on the basis of how heavy and bleak it was, it would have probably gotten a perfect score. However, in the broad scope of the "deathcore" label, this album does nothing but perpetuate the stereotypes of the genre. Nothing very memorable, with all of the songs sounding relatively similar.
Additionally, the band seems to go out of their way to tune even lower as if it somehow makes the songs have a greater impact...and to no avail. There is little to no melody, and the production isn't as immersive as it was on Baptized in Filth. As a result, you're left with a heavy, bleak, and boring album that wouldn't really be good for anything other than trying to scare your parents.
Prior to this release, there hadn't been an Impending Doom record I couldn't enjoy in some capacity. It's very disappointing to think about because there was probably a lot of effort put into this album, but it clearly doesn't show. I was skeptical about this album from the beginning because all I heard about was how "heavy" it would be, not knowing that all melody and catchiness would simply be thrown out the window. But in the context of the album on its own, Death Will Reign is a safe release from a band that should probably be concerned with stagnation down the road.