Impending Doom – The Serpent Servant

Artist: Impending Doom3220870726_7013e-e020c
Album: The Serpent Servent
Genre: Goreship [Christian Metal/Grind]
Label:  Facedown

If you remember, Impending Doom were one of the first bands to ever b reviewed by [UTG] when we launched last year. To be blunt, we hated them. It’s nothing against their beliefs or their genre, but I simply felt it was very amateur in nature. However, so we were and boy, what a difference a year has made for both of us. Impending Doom have returned with The Serpent Servant and with it, have brought their game to a whole new level.

To say I was cautious upon pressing play would be an understatement. I wasn’t about to put my ears through another albummof this doom/gore grind metal the band calls “goreship” unless there was something to it. However, near instantaneously after beginning the record, I let out a sigh of relief. FINALLY a band in this genre has grown since their last release! “When Waters Run Deep,” the lead track, is a blast of chugs and drums that beckons all in range to listen in and, as opposed to the last release, the voclas sound better both sonically and production wise. The album then continues to punish as, “Anything Goes,” and, “Storming The Gates of Hell,” both show growth in structure while bashing your ears with near nonstop pounding. This band lives in open chugs a lot, but it sounds so solid that it’s hard to argue it.

Then as the record moves into the back half, we hit a wall. As much as I love the growth and direction the band has taken with their sophormore release, it begins to grow old in the later tracks. Things start off strong with, “Welcome To Forever,” which sounds like an old As I Lay Dying track, but then, “In The House of Mourning,” and, “When I Speak,” just feels like well worn territory. The chugs continue at varying speeds and the vocals lose almost all variety and stay at a static tone throughout. I will note that, “Revival: America” gives an interesting slowed tempo for the group and shows some musical growth, but it’s too little too late for the album to climb much higher on our ratings scale. The closing number, “Beginnings,” works well at finishing everything off with heavy tones, but once again, it could have been 90% of the tracks on the record.

In the end, I feel this is a total “A” for effort type of record. The growth and maturity are present, but not in the doses necessary to really wow us. If you loved the first record, then I’m sure you’ll be into this. If you hated the first one, then this, if you give it a chance, may impress you. However, it in no way is going to convert you to an all out Impending Doom advocate. They’ve gone from terrible to sustainable and to some extent, that’s all we can really ask for. The Serpent Servant is a pulse pounding, chug heavy record, but it lacks the heart to be more than a flicker in a year of amazing releases.

*Written By: James Shotwell*
Score: 6.5/10

James Shotwell
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