Describing themselves as “Gorship” (a portmanteau of gore and worship), California’s Impending Doom could best be categorised in more familiar genres as deathcore, straying between hardcore and old-school death metal within that spectrum. Their sixth album The Sin and Doom Vol. II looks to expand upon their solid but unspectacular back catalogue; prior two albums Death Will Reign (2013) and Baptized in Filth (2012) both registered in the top ten in the US Billboard Hard Rock chart but haven’t catapulted them to global renown.
Sonically, Impending Doom bear more than a passing resemblance to early Somatic Defilement or This is Exile-era Whitechapel, which on the surface is not a bad thing. The guttural vocals of the extremely capable Brook Reeves contribute to this, as do the dissonant and palm-mute filled breakdowns which are liberally scattered between the heavy – albeit rarely engaging riffs – driving each track forwards. This is one of the key drawbacks of The Sin and Doom Vol. II – they pull clear influences from some of the standout albums of the deathcore genre, but fail to cherry pick only their strong parts and also bring with them the genre’s chief drawbacks – verses which feel they are almost in the song only as a filler between breakdown and chorus.
There are a few tracks which are an exception to the above – “Devil’s Den” starts promisingly with an interesting djent-toned intro, and then manages to maintain a better cadence than the other tracks on the album; the contrast between verse and chorus leaves a more lasting impression where some of the others somewhat blend together. “Everything’s Fake”, the penultimate track, is the first one which finally instills the sense of impending doom the band are going for with their sound; finally the riffs of returning original member Manny Contreras on guitar are able to shine and give an unsettling feel to the music.
Check out the video for “Everything’s Fake” below:
The other exception is “EVIL”, which draws more from hardcore than death metal influences for portions. What you are left with is an attempt of hardcore, written by a non-hardcore band and performed by a non-hardcore vocalist, which then clashes uncomfortably with the misplaced breakdown. It’s the one track on the entire album that sounds truly different (in parts) to any of the others, but unfortunately it’s not for a good reason. It’s a blessing therefore that it’s the shortest track on here.
Before one of the inevitable breakdowns, the aforementioned “Everything’s Fake” asks “Everything’s fake in this day and age, when there’s no faith, who do you trust?” One thing you can trust is that Impending Doom has released an inoffensive album with a couple of strong tracks, but one which is on balance unspectacular, average and would not make a dent in the broader deathcore scene.
The Sin and Doom Vol. II Track Listing:
01. The Wretched and Godless
03. War Music
05. Paved With Bones
06. The Serpents Tongue
08. Devils Den
09. Everything’s Fake
10. Run For Your Life (She Calls)
Run Time: 35:47
Release Date: June 22, 2018
Record Label: Entertainment One