Oh, Impending Doom. The name alone should invoke fear in the hearts of men. But for me (and other fans of the genre I have now taken to calling Christian black death eschatological hardcore – it’s a working title because it doesn’t flow off the tongue YET), the term “Impending Doom” makes me long for the days of Cornerstones, both Florida and Illinois.
I’ve written about the group’s 3 other albums this year: first, at length on their latest, Baptized in Filth from 2012. I’m sort of glad that album came first because it’s the one that most explicitly lays out their views on eschatology (the study of the end of the world), which I find to be pretty damaging in the light of science and rationalism and my increasingly universalist worldview, but what do I know.
After that was There Will Be Violence, which felt uninspired and erred on the side of pretty underwhelming.
Finally, there was The Serpent Servant, far and away the best album of the lot. Super creative and devastatingly heavy.
The group’s 2007 debut, Nailed. Dead. Risen., is the last ID record on this year’s list. At the time of its release, it cleared out everything going on in the genre before. I won’t claim to be a historian on Christian deathcore or Christian black metal, but for this generation, Doom was the sludgiest in an already crowded landscape of Christcore bands.
Right off the bat though, and especially for listeners who are more familiar with the band’s later works, the album’s production is called into question. It’s so bass-heavy, it’s downright stuffy. Much of the album sounds entirely too muddy. Of course, the band gets a pass on this issue because live, it sounds amazing, and it’s their debut. With a little more capital, I’m sure it could have sounded way cleaner, but what can you do.
Vocalist Brook Reeves suffers the most from subpar production. His deepest pig squeals are completely unintelligible. I get that with most of the practice, this should hold true, but there’s a number of bands I’ve seen with breeing vocals that are still able to be discerned. With the exception of the title track “Nailed. Dead. Risen.,” and that disgusting breakdown on “Silence the Oppressors” (“Are you listening?”) I can’t understand a single word on this album. If that’s your thing, cool.
With the exception of those two songs, and maybe “Condemned,” much of this album may suffer from a lack of variation. Songs on this record run together in my mind almost to the point of not being able to recall anything at time but the singles.
Don’t get me wrong, that’s not a bad thing. Nailed. Dead. Risen. slays, even if you’re not into the thematic content. To reiterate my statement from Baptized in Filth: it’s bullshit if you don’t listen to an album by a “Christian” or religious band because of its theme.
I totally get it if dudes who don’t believe in God don’t want to be “preached at” from the stage every night. But being offended by it is dumb. Life is too short to be offended by every little thing. Don’t do that. Don’t be dumb. It’s pretty simple, actually. Not like you can even hear what he’s saying most of this record anyway.
From Impending Doom’s 2007 debut, this is the title track, “Nailed. Dead. Risen.” –
Standout tracks: “Nailed. Dead. Risen.,” “Condemned” and “Silence the Oppressors”
Weakest track: “Left Behind” – stop. That laugh is a joke.
RIYL: Unreadable metal band fonts. Christian black death eschatological hardcore. In the Midst of Lions, Haste the Day, August Burns Red.