posted on 4/2009 By:
Oh, the wrath of the math! How much of the Daath that you've come to know, can you subtract from this newest album which bears that name, and still call it by the name of which it bears?
Gone is The Hinderers' kaleidoscopic view of death metal. In fact, gone is the death metal. In greater fact, gone is the kaleidoscope. The cosmic wrinkles have been ironed out. The theatrics that ran amuck inside of that carnivorous carnival are now scarce to nil. The Concealers is starched, pressed, clean-shaven, and interviewing for a chart-position. It's digestible enough to achieve just that. So easily digestible. So easy to pee out.
Originator/brainchild/guitarist/keyboarder/sweetheart of the rodeo, Eyal Levi, once polygamous drummer, Kevin Talley, guitar teacher extraordinaire, Emil Werstler, and the great dark hope in new vocalist, Sean Z, are not a gang that I pegged for paper-tracing those who have numbers for names, but everything from the Corey Taylorisms in Sean Z's angst styles (I miss the gruff delivery of The Hinderers vocalist, Mike Kameron), to the anonymity in the room-temperature of the riffing, says "safe". It's to a point now where it's a far, far stretch to peg this album for death (a blast-beat here and there doesn't count anymore). Two words: "groovy" and "metalcore".... Bleh! Don't let one of those words hear you say the other one! 'Cuz it makes for such a tame turn into laxative territory. Granted, The Concealers isn't a pony ride, but it sure ain't hellavator music, and it is absolutely PG-13. I'll admit to The Hinderers' disorder being a bit of a square peg in a round hole, as the "industrial" and the "death" in their described "industrial-DM" outfit didn't always fit, at times bordering on awkward and uncomfortable ("Dead On The Dancefloor"), but you had to wonder where the hell they were gonna go with it, and I, personally, could feel the forward march. Now, songs like the album opener, "Sharpen The Blades", and the follow-up in "Self Corruption Manifesto", have aborted that previously interesting mission to set a new course: bee-line for the mainstream, avoid the kind of creativity that you and I know they're fully capable of (assuming that you're a fan and not foe), and as a result Talley phones in a performance and the Levi/Werstler connection can't do much aside from some impressive string grating. Their new manifesto seems to declare "quick, fast, in a hurry" as it's songwriting doctrine. A well thought out verse section of a song thickens the plot. Without that, you'll often get a chorus that feels pointless and obligatory, and I'm finding that this happens often here. So my problem with the whole of this album is: No character development.
That doesn't necessarily mean that it's bad. None of these eleven songs are bad. They just... exist. And some exist more than others. Blame a Daath soap opera. Pick one. I'll pick the one where I read that Levi eased up on his vice-grip and let everyone stab in on the writing process, making this the actual, real, first Daath operation. In their defense, the melodic prowl of "The Unbinding Truth", and the eerie mechanics inside "...of Poisoned Sorrows" (a circus-macabre reminiscent of Hinderers fare) make a strong case that they can get surgical with each other, but the puff production job (courtesy of producer Jason Suecof; Trivium, All That Remains, Chimaira, etc.) pads the thrust for the jugular, even though from a technical standpoint it's correct. So there's a couple of moments here where I can put my finger on the pulse and feel the ill-will, but there's no breathing, no bleeding, or anything fleshing out. In my opinion, when you take it where Daath just took it, the knobs, levers, and buttons are to be the unveiling; it might as well have been about the delivery. All in all, the crime of The Concealers has accomplices.
Now you call it. A sick, cold force to be reckoned with? Or a sick, old horse to make adhesive with.... These songs aren't gonna just stick themselves, ya know.
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