Impending Doom – the Serpent Servant

By David M on April-8-2009 | Filed under Reviews | Tags : , , | Share

Impending Doom – the Serpent Servant
Score: 5/5Score: 5/5Score: 5/5Score: 5/5Score: 5/55
4.1 (7 votes)

Title: The Serpent Servant
Label: Facedown Records
Release Date: March 31st, 2009
Review By: David M

Tracklisting:

  1. When Waters Run Deep
  2. The Serpent Servant
  3. Anything Goes
  4. Storming The Gates Of Hell
  5. Welcome To Forever
  6. More Than Conquerors
  7. Revival: America
  8. In The House Of Mourning
  9. When I Speak
  10. City Of Refuge
  11. Beginnings

Well, it’s been a while, folks. The last (and only other) review I wrote for this site was the For Today, and I remember how that didn’t exactly go well for me. I suppose that’s the risk of reviewing a site favorite and not giving it stellar marks. (Since then, my opinion has changed, and I love the cd; took a while for it to grow on me) That being said, here’s my review for Impending Doom’s newest release, the Serpent Servant.

If you’re not familiar with Impending Doom, chances are you’re not a metal fan or if you are, you’re either too old school or so new, you don’t even know who As I Lay Dying is. Since their Facedown induction, they have exploded into the scene and in your face, whether you liked it or not, and gained a lot of respect and fans along the way. Before this album, on their Nailed. Dead. Risen. release and their EP, their sound resembled what the world likes to dub “grindcore,” even though site regulars Nodes, myself, and others disagree quite strongly. You know: guttural/pig squeal vocals, blast beats out the wazoo, indistinguishable guitar parts…the list goes on and on. My first impression of the band, while not bad, wasn’t one of “Wow, these guys are original.” Not saying they were trying to come riding in on the cash cow (poor Bessy, so many bands have broken her back), but their timing was that of when the saturation begun. With their newest effort, however, my opinion has been reformed: these guys know exactly what they’re doing. Gone is the wannabe-grind from before. Instead, we find ourselves with an incredibly solid metal album that will be bringing in the masses to their realm of “gorship.”

The second the CD starts, you can already hear how the band has improved. Tim Lambesis of As I Lay Dying notoriety has done an incredible job with their sound, taking their near sonic mess from before and turning it into a solid, articulate, and precise masterpiece. “But wait. They didn’t record it themselves. So THEY didn’t improve!” The thing is, the fact they chose to go with Tim and record is an improvement on its own. Instead of recording with an engineer that¬† may know what they’re doing but would’ve gone with a more raw feel, they went down the more polished route, and with the material they wrote this time around, that’s exactly what they needed. There’s no more of the jumbled guitar parts or “bree bree brees”¬† that everyone seemed to love, and honestly, I’m glad. That’s what kept me from truly getting into them before, and I know there’s a lot of others that felt the same.

Vocally, as I mentioned before, there are no more pig squeals or anything of the like. Instead, frontman Brook Reeves assaults you with a voice that will leave you feeling like you are nothing more than a speck of dust compared to him. It’s so powerful and commanding that you have to listen, merely for that fact alone. The first thing I thought of is he almost sounds like the Christian birth-child of vocalists Guy Kozowyk (the Red Chord) and Phillip Bozeman (Whitechapel). Definitely not a bad thing in my book. Also, compared to his previous vocals endeavors (and in relation to my comparisons), he is a lot more understandable, so that alone should hopefully attract more people that were turned off from the “bree horr horrs” from before. Doesn’t hurt to actually HEAR the lyrics, right?

There’s no doubt in Reeve’s lyrics that Impending Doom is a Christian band, nor should you have any questions. Yes, this isn’t your sister’s Superchick album, nor should anyone expect it to be, but I am grateful to live in a time where Christians can be accepted for their differences rather than any “deviation” from the norm to be shunned and looked down upon. However, the lyrical content is pretty dark, and the closer we come to His return, should we expect any different? These aren’t good times, the Adversary’s hold is strong, and these songs don’t shy away from that truth. It takes guts to write about what’s really going on, though, so I give him credit for that.

NOTE: I’m a vocalist. Not a guitarist (except for Rock Band), nor a bassist, or drummer. So when it comes to describing the other vital parts of a band, I’m usually not too technically savvy, but I’ll try my best to cover the different parts in this review, and reviews to come.

As I mentioned before with the vocals, everything is more understandable, yet that doesn’t apply for the vocals alone. All of the guitar, and even bass, parts are very punctual and individual, instead of merging together into a headache of a mess, and you can’t help but feel attacked by their sheer brutality. It’s what I’ve been waiting for in the Christian music scene ever since I first listened to Whitechapel. (Great band, musically, but their lyrics are pure filth and ruin what would be a good band.) Don’t expect any crazy solos or lead parts just because Tim Lambesis is at the helm. This is still Impending Doom, and that’s not a side of them I’ll ever expect to see

Although former drummer Andy Hegg has been replaced by newcomer Chad Blackwell, the ferocity and speed that won me over in the first place has returned, and even stronger than before. There’s plenty of blast beats and half-time parts to make any metal fan happy, but not a single song has any sloppy drumming. It’s all executed so proficiently, and, once again, thanks to Lambesis Studios, the quality is nothing but top notch and brings out the drums to a new level that you can’t help but think, “Holy crap, this sounds good.” True, we live in a world where drum machines run wild and free, and love to make their homes in the most generic of metal albums, but talk to anyone who has seen this band live, and they’ll tell you Impending Doom doesn’t need programming to sound good. But with the time and quality put into all of the other musical departments, it would feel wrong not to give that sound and quality to the drums, as well.

If you’ve noticed, I have said little to nothing bad about this album, because I genuinely feel that there isn’t a lot of negative things to find to begin with, and when I do, it all seems like it’s just my personal views. For example: track 7, “Revival:America,” seems like it’s a filler track, and would’ve fit better if it was the intro track and “When Waters Run Deep” was lengthened a bit and made into a full song. Also, the length of the CD is pretty short, clocking in at around 36 minutes, but that doesn’t take away from the CD as a whole.

Overall: The Serpent Servant will do nothing to convert you to metal if you’re not a fan already, and if you’re expecting it to, you’ll be sorely disappointed. But if you’re like me, a fan of Whitechapel and Meshuggah, waiting for a Christian band to enter into those “forbidden territories,” you’ll find yourself very pleased with a well-crafted metal album that won’t be leaving your CD-player anytime soon. And I realize this score may seem ludicrous to some (and I was very hesitant to give it), but I can’t express enough how much I have enjoyed this album and how long-awaited it’s been in the Underoath/As I Lay Dying rip-off infested Christian scene.

Oh, and 2:42 of “More than Conquerors.” If you don’t enjoy that riff, I don’t know if there’s much I can do to help you.

|Myspace|
|Buy: Facedown Records; Amazon|

Impending Doom - the Serpent Servant, 4.1 out of 5 based on 7 ratings

Click here to list all the current reviews by David M

About the author David M

"Pecca fortier, sed fortius fide et gaude in Christo." Simply put, I love Jesus and I'm living in the knowledge that it is by grace that any man is saved, not by our works. True discipleship is rough, but worth it. I get more excited about reading theology books and discussing faith than most things nowadays. If you'd like to talk about anything God related, feel free to email me at: david@indievisionmusic.com View all posts by David M

123 Responses to 'Impending Doom – the Serpent Servant'

  1. sam30 says:

    Brian, don’t go.
    It’s not the site you don’t like, it’s the way that some of the comments escalate into silly arguments and the like.

    There will be plenty more opportunities to talk about good things. Like the universally-recognised awesomeness of ADVENT and Sleeping Giant and Call To Preserve (who’re writing a new album by the way, according to their twitter page at least).

  2. Casey says:

    of all the arguments on this website, i think this is the most ridiculous. :(

  3. isaac says:

    Actually, I do think symbols have an inherent mathematical quality that can invoke certain things. The occult is not a bunch of made up stuff. It’s hidden knowledge about things that truly do contact the spiritual dimension. The Bible doesn’t discount the practicing of witchcraft and call it this made up stuff, it warns those who love God to stay away from it, for it truly does work.

    I’m not recommending anyone go and research this to the extent that they get into black magic or anything, but I have friends who are Christians now that used to be into black magic, astral projection, and other demonic activity and I can assure you, symbols have meaning. Just because humans say this or that in reference to a symbol, it doesn’t mean that they change the true inherent meaning of it, just the outside perception of the symbol.

    Really though, why is it so hard to have an open discussion? Why can’t I present this evidence as I see it and then see where it leads us? I’m being discounted as legitimate, not for my attitude or the evidence present, but the ‘wrong’ conclusion’ that I am coming up with. I’m seeking the truth. I’m not seeking to defame anyone or anything like that, but I’m trying to see if a spade is indeed a spade. If I am wrong about Impending Doom, I will be happier than if their symbols and motives are evil. I enjoy their music and I would much rather have more people seeking the Kingdom of God than not. However, if things genuinely bug my conscience, and they do, I have to bring it up. Hopefully you can at least respect that.

  4. Andy K says:

    All this talk about witchcraft made me think of this…

  5. Deej says:

    Ummm. I’m just going to go out on a limb and say that Impending Doom is indeed a Christian band.

    The lyrics to In Reverence Of:

    Loving God how could you take the only thing I felt love from?
    Where was your love?
    Where was your comfort that I spoke of?
    In this world ran by the enemy,
    which lead me the think you to be the first to damn my lack of faith
    and trust left me in a hole of unbelief.
    Forgive me.
    She will remain in our hearts forever.
    On this earth when flesh dies our souls will reunite.
    She spoke to me of who you are and how your love could never separate us,
    and how you did things only for good and casted out all that is bad.
    Forgive me mother for my doubt; my holy father will cast him out.
    Again! Come back Jesus, cast out Satan, Again! A-men.
    Thank you for this loss, thank you for your blood,
    thank you for the 16 years of life with her
    and for the everlasting joy I’ll have when you come back and save us from this hell.
    Come back father God of life; enrich us with your wealth.

  6. Tim says:

    I wouldn’t leave the site over a ridiculous debate such as this but I do think it is just that… ridiculous. Especially when we receive testimony that confirms the truth – that they are indeed a bunch of Christians.

    It’s a shame that it continued beyond that point.

    Why do we, as Christians, rip things apart looking for specks of dirt? I’ve got so many planks in my own eye I keep missing.

  7. daguitarmaster says:

    speaking of advent, have they released their new one yet?

  8. Josh says:

    Advent’s new album is so amazing, and yeah it was released on September 8

  9. daguitarmaster says:

    really?! wow..ill have to pick it up then

  10. Phil Recognition says:

    Advent’s new album is straight crazy. not sure if they’re REALLY a Christian band though… haaaaaa juuuusssst kidddding

    juuuussst kiiidddding

    juuusssst kiddddding

    juuuuust kiddddiiing
    i <3 Advent

  11. ryan says:

    do we really need another thread hijacked by advent fanboys

  12. Phil Recognition says:

    yes!

  13. isaac says:

    *long exasperated sigh*

  14. sam30 says:

    Hahahahaha.
    I think we all need some perspective at this point.
    While some may think that this argument is petty and ridiculous, it’s nothing on this:

    Now whatever your opinion on TD Jakes and other christian leaders isn’t the point, its the fact that they’re committed to the idea that any other translation in English than the KJV is Satanic…

    I hope we can all agree that this kind of thing is WAAAAAAAY more ridiculous than the argument in this thread.

  15. Phil Recognition says:

    i actually went to a southern baptist church/school for 3 years where anything other than the kjv was a “false version of the bible”, pretty ridiculous considering, obviously, the kjv isn’t even the original version

  16. Tim says:

    It saddens me that people argue about all this rubbish, from KJV Bibles to whether Impending Doom are a Christian band when the core of the gospel is loving everyone, even your enemies. Do we even take notice of Jesus?

    I make myself feel sick sometimes. Humanity, eh? I cannot believe he still loves us when we mess up so badly. What a beautiful, undeserved love!

  17. camille says:

    i wish i could keep tim’s post as the last bc it’s so cool.

    daguitarmaster- sorry, i feel like i came off really strong and without much grace. my error, my sin, and i’m sorry about that. just really didn’t want their message compromised and distraction brought in, but i could have handled that better. hope it didn’t seem like an onslaught.

    isaac, i see what you’re saying about the middle finger thing it was a good explanation of your thought process. maybe the repentagram is cool bc it kind of redeems or covers over a satanic symbol, or maybe they meant well but it wasn’t a good idea.

    last may they did address it bc you’re not the only one to feel the way you do or be confused, just in case you haven’t seen it it’s on their myspace, this link will hopefully work. if not it’s a blog thing on their page.

    http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=31251843&blogId=393058443

    if their explanation isn’t cool with you that’s okay, they meant well and we all make mistakes sometimes even if we’re trying to do good things. anyway, i’m sorry for going overboard. i’m just really tough you know i’m 5 feet 5 inches worth of solid muscle and rage! but seriously, please let me take back any alienation i caused, and hopefully now you guys are all convinced that doom are all Christians so we can all keep hanging together without wondering about that. thanks.

    to end with tim- He still loves us when we mess up so badly. What a beautiful, undeserved love!

  18. daguitarmaster says:

    @camille: no you are fine..i was wrong for judging. i didn’t mean to downplay whatever it is they are doing. gods working with me on that

  19. Jay says:

    Tim, don’t be that guy. We’re having a discussion, not condemning people. The free exchange of ideas isn’t forgetting about God, it’s working through the limitations of our intellect.

  20. Tim says:

    Disagree fundamentally because I don’t think anyone should question other people’s faith on pure speculation and minimal evidence, especially after someone with a personal contact with the band confirmed the nature of their faith.

    Jesus told us to sort out the plank of wood in our own eye before the speck of dust in other people. I don’t think we’ve been doing that. Sorry, but that’s just my opinion.

  21. Jay says:

    “Disagree fundamentally because I don

  22. isaac says:

    so the 9 pointed star is minimal evidence?

  23. I second Jay
    and with that 100 comments on an album review!

  24. just.me.brian says:

    isaac are you kidding me? let it go bro.

  25. Kirk says:

    So i didnt want to join in. Issac – it would have been of concern if that is all we had to look at. However we have far more evidence that they are sold out for Jesus. It was clearly their attempt at redeeming something back fro Christ not the other way around. Evalute ALL the evidence. A single peice rearly brings truth into the light.
    Can this now end please?

  26. Phil Recognition says:

    yes lets end this and get back to whats important

    how AMAZING ADVENT IS

  27. Brandon says:

    wow guys, congratulations, you made it to the third page. heh.

  28. Kirk says:

    Phil – Speaking of ADVENT i asked them bout Blackness of Day which had me confussed. Seemed kinda unwarented darkness ya know..

    So….

    What’s up Kirk,
    Blackness of day has a sample from the movie Apocalypto. I think its in Mayan or some form of Native Indian. The movie is about the last Mayan civilization and how they destroy themselves. Basically the clip is of a little girl telling the Mayan warriors the coming judgment for the destruction they’ve done.
    Naked and Cold represents a feeling toward the world we live in. We are in a pretty dark time and in a country that is lying to its people, stealing our hopes and dreams. A time when everyone and everything are trying to smash our faith and mock our beliefs. So, we thought that clip fit well for the ending of the record and what we wanted the record to mean. We pitch shifted the girls voice so it sounded a little darker…hopefully it sounds as cool as we think it does. Hahaha
    Thanks for caring enough to ask us about that song!
    Johnny/ADVENT

  29. sam30 says:

    Kirk is the man.

  30. Phil Recognition says:

    hahah thats awesome

  31. daguitarmaster says:

    let it go, isaac…some people are getting angry that we have questions

  32. just.me.brian says:

    daguitarmaster,

    we are not getting angry that you are asking questions. we are not understanding why you are arguing over things that that have already been cleared BY THE BAND.

    seriously, we should just talk about Advent and Stretch Arm Strong from now on. IN EVERY THREAD. no one fights or argues over how amazing either one of those bands are.

  33. Tim says:

    Advent are good but Beloved were breathtaking.

  34. sam30 says:

    Not this again…
    Haha.

  35. Phil Recognition says:

    lol

  36. isaac says:

    I should have seen Advent when they were at the Warehouse in Willmar.

  37. sam30 says:

    Isaac, you really should’ve…
    Tut tut.

  38. Jeremiah says:

    I picked up the new Before There Was Rosalyn cd today and it has good edifying and uplifting lyrics. Great stuff! I think you’d like it Isaac.

    p.s. Will someone off here review it? I’d like to hear someone’s opinion on it!

  39. Kirk says:

    Speaking of reviews. Naked and Cold has to be the most talked of album to not yet be reviewed…
    This should change.

  40. sam30 says:

    You should write one……..
    Go on, mister fanboy…

    Haha.
    I’ve been thinking about doing on and submitting it for our fearless leader.
    Just complex stuff keeps getting in the way. Grrrrrr.

  41. Brandon says:

    I’m frustrated that none of our reviewers wanted to tackle advent for ivm. You’d think that with some of their awesomeness being talked about around here a good review would be inevitable. Nope. Our reviewers were all too scared of the fury that is Advent!!!! If anyone wants to review it, I’ll post it up on the site and credit you.

  42. Phil Recognition says:

    @ Jeremiah : i didn’t really care for them when i first heard about them, i guess they had an ep or something? i listened to the stream of the album and thought it was pretty good, the concept of the album seems sweet i’ll probably end up buying it eventually

  43. Tim says:

    If I reviewed it it wouldn’t get 10/10… can anyone cope with that?!

  44. sam30 says:

    @ Tim:

    I think if I reviewed it, I’d give it an 8.5 – not because I don’t love it to death (which I clearly do), but because no album is perfect, and if I were to set aside my fanaticism, I can see where the weak points are. So yeah, go for it.

    Haha.

  45. Tim says:

    I’ll seriously review it if no one else wants to. But I’d rather others had the option to claim the review if they want it first.

Comments closed.

SEARCH

HOT RIGHT NOW

Exclusive: A Common Goal – Where Do We Go

Exclusive: False Idle – The Cavalry

Exclusive: Harbor and Home Music Video Premiere

Exclusive: The Beautiful Discord Music Video Premiere

Exclusive: BoughtXBlood Releases Music Video for “Restoration”

RECENT COMMENTS

REVIEWS | INTERVIEWS

IVM POLL

  • Favorite Recent Review at IVM (from list provided)

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Polls Archive