Record:Baptized in Filth
Release Date: 3/12/12
- For the Wicked
- Chaos : Reborn
- Falling Away
- Absolute Horror
- Angry Letters to God
- Baptized in Filth
- My Light Unseen
- Death. Ascension. Resurrection.
Many questions arose from metal fans around the world last year when Impending Doom announced they had parted ways with long time label, Facedown Records, in order to release their fourth full studio album with eOne music. Would the band remain rooted in their faith? Would they continue pummeling listeners ear drums with massively heavy music or would they “sell out” for a more accessible sound? Well, it appears this is the same Impending Doom we all knew from before, just with a cozy new place to call home.
I’ll be very up front with you. Before I even heard this record, I had counted it out as something I simply would not enjoy. You see, the only Impending Doom record I have remotely enjoyed from front to back is 2009’s Serpent Servant. Everything besides that I felt like, besides a few stand out tracks, missed the mark. On top of not having a good track record with Impending Doom, I also found the name of the album along with the art work to be pretty cheesy and a little too “metal” for my liking. As soon as I pushed play and “Murder” came roaring through the speakers, all of my preconceived notions were erased.
First and foremost, let me say the production on Baptized in Filth is unreal. Easily one of the most impressively recorded metal records I can think of. Every distorted, grinding chug of guitar and every pummeling drum hit is crisp and precise with enough bass drops to satisfy all you 808 junkies out there.
Impending Doom cuts right to the chase on Baptized in Filth, bypassing the obligatory into track and exploding right into one of the strongest tracks on the album, “Murderer“. While the track features everything you would expect from Impending Doom with tight riffing, thumping bass, and precise drums; the first glimpse of the new, polished yet colossal production takes your breath away. “Deceiver” starts out with an eerie intro or just drums and bass until Brooke Reeves professes, “This is the last time you’ll see my face/ And the last time you hear my voice!”. Reeves provides possibly his strongest vocal performance on “Deceiver” as he transitions from full on roaring to a deeper, more controlled growl. Reeves even slithers into a creepy whisper similar to that seen in “The Great Fear” off of There Will be Violence. “Angry Letters to God” is a cool song musically as it explores a few various avenues of music. The intro is full of chaotic discords while the verses have an almost punk drum beat to them. Sure to be a fan favorite is “My Light Unseen”, a surprising post rock song featuring vocalist of Demon Hunter, Ryan Clark. Clark takes the lead on the vocals, primarily using his clean vocals while Reeves lends his shrieking to the background. “Death. Ascension. Resurrection”. is a strong closer to a solid record. Guitarist Corey Johnson provides some of his fastest, most intricate riffing on this track. The closer may also be Reeve’s strongest tack lyrically as he ponders “Are we trapped in division and unbelief?/Forever separated by our hatred/Follow Him to the kingdom of heaven/ Where pain and suffering cease to exist!”
While Baptized in Filth is head and shoulders above the other three records as my favorite Impending Doom has to offer, there are still a few things that bother me. The most nagging issue is that I feel that about half the songs blend together very easily. When listening to the album on shuffle, if it wasn’t a song that had an extremely memorable part or lyric, I found I had trouble distinguishing which track was playing. I think this could partly be attributed to a lack of guitar leads as heard in “Death. Ascension. Resurrection”. I think if Impending Doom would expand their sounds a little more than simply riffing and breakdowns they would be able to separate themselves from the rest of the pack.
Overall: With slick new production that magnifies the heaviness, this release has made me interested in what Impending Doom has to offer in the future as opposed to just another record that slips almost unnoticed by me like their others have in the past. With some more distinguishing elements added to their music, I believe Impending Doom can make some truly memorable records. Score: 7.5/10