Release DetailsLABEL Roadrunner
RELEASED ON 3/20/2007
posted on 3/2007 By:
Upon the first listen of Daath’s sophomore effort The Hinderers, their Roadrunner Records debut, I knew they’d wind up on Ozzfest this year, and they have. It’s crystal clear that Daath is aimed for the mainstream metal masses who flock towards the current wave of modern, easily accessible ’heavier’ metal. I care not about the needless hate the label receives from the ‘tr00’ underground metal community, Roadrunner knows how to sell their bands. Look at Trivium and Dragonforce. You cannot dismiss their success, but at the same time, just because they know how to market a product doesn’t mean what they’re selling is guaranteed to swell your vital blood vessels, and I honestly don’t know how Roadrunners’ target audience will respond to this album.
Daath is a very strange-sounding bunch. I can’t quite place it, but their method of semi-progressive, at times nearly industrial, aggressive melodic metal isn‘t very friendly to this particular ear. I hear irritating piano and other assorted keyboard-like effects popping up to the point of distraction during “Under A Somber Sign”, but then “Ovum” comes chugging through with competent Children Of Bodom-styled thrash and a touch of sly groove, and “Festival Mass Soulform” mixes bits of Mors Principium Est with The Duskfall by way of alternating melodies with plentiful bottom-end crunch and uptempo riffs. “Above Lucium” takes a nearly Nevermore/Communic turn with more industrial tones being explored among tight, choppy riff syncopation, and features an excellent bridge, becoming a standout track among few. While there may be a lot going on, there honestly isn‘t much here to point out as sounding very stimulating in the long run.
What kills this album for me is the odd experiments the band attempts, such as with light electronic opening of “Who Will Take The Blame” a song that never finds its stride amongst a mess of unrelated riffs and messy vocal arrangements. Mostly, there is an overall blandness to The Hinderers that leaves me absolutely cold. Even when things pick up the pace during “War Born”, it sounds humdrum, and it doesn’t help that the track is followed by “Dead On The Dance Floor” which is half industrial gay dance club music, and the other half clumsy Slipknot/DevilDriver-isms. Awful. Sean Farber is also a very nondescript vocalist who sounds both passionate and terribly rigid at the same time, delivering his snarling/grunted lines with as much force as possible while neglecting to put any sort of unique personality behind it, and if you didn’t tell me Kevin Talley (Dying Fetus/Misery Index) currently plays drums for Daath, I never would have noticed otherwise, and that’s a damn shame.
“Blessed Through Misery”, during its first 30 seconds or so, jarringly emulates poorly-produced black metal complete with a Darkthrone blast beat before quickly trudging through tedious staccato and more artificial, contrived spooky sound effects. It sounds absolutely comical around the two-minute mark and never recovers despite some pretty badass soloing towards the conclusion. I half-expected a sample from The Adams Family to pop up at the end. The Hinderers suffers from trying to be both ambitious and modern, and in the process creates a form of music that doesn’t really lock into one mindset over the other in a focused attempt to create an interesting identity. Granted, Daath put thought and heart behind what they do, but I’m just not sure this album will garner them any long-lasting diehard fans.
It should be known that I highly respect and admire many of the people who had a hand in the making of this record, such as Colin Richardson, Andy Sneap and James Murphy. But it’s kind of like having Wolfgang Puck make you a Caesar salad and expecting it to taste otherworldly just because he’s the guy who tossed it in the bowl. It’s still just fucking lettuce. Daath are unquestionably a talented band, but their songwriting is terribly unexciting. Yes, the material is very well-performed and isn’t directed at the brainless many. They play totally average, aggressively melodic technical metal with a deathly edge to it, which is bereft of ‘core. It’s almost refreshing if it weren’t so very vanilla, and I can’t view them as being anything more than a gateway band for a brash, relatively new 16 year old metalhead to pull out of his collection and proudly show his friends the heaviest new album he owns. Looks like every band serves a purpose, and since you can see them for free this summer, you’ve got nothing to lose but time by checking them out for yourself if cotton candy death metal is your sort of thing.
Register to post comments.