ALBUM: Daath – The Concealers

Release Date: April 20th, 2009
Label: Century Media
Website: www.daathmusic.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/daath

Rating:

Daath follow up their self-released 2004 debut ‘Futility’ and their first release for Roadrunner Records, 2007’s ‘The Hinderers’ with their latest – ‘The Concealers’. From their start, the band have taken on a new singer, hit Ozzfest, teamed up with ex-Chimaira drummer Kevin Talley as well as playing support slots with fellows in guitar virtuosity Dragonforce. Couple all this with their name being taken from a concept in media stung school of Jewish thought, Kabbalah, and you have a potent combination. The band’s third record is a more guitar focused effort, but how will it stand up as an album?

The band’s primary weapons of attack, throughout this record, are an impressive array of thrash guitar technique, pounding drums, growls, epic solos, fast moving verses, straightforward (in a good way) choruses, breakdowns and maybe a few more solos for good luck. Opener ‘Sharpen The Blades’ being a primary example of this. Trash 101 you say? Well, perhaps, but it never feels routine or formulaic, due to new vocalist Sean Z‘s energetic delivery, which for some fans isn’t as heavy as his predecessor’s. The rhythm work is very slick throughout, the drums providing an impenetrable wall, with the bass sounding meaty, benefiting from the occasional respite of the guitar, where it particularly shines. The synth touches are nice too; melding with some of the guitar patterns nicely (see ‘…Of Poisoned Sorrows’) to create an operatic feel that gives the record occasional hints of industrial and progressive metal without the over the top self indulgence that sometimes plagues these genres. It is of course the guitars that take centre stage though – the combination of riffs and solos and shreds predominantly complimenting each other, even if the transitions sometimes seem a little forced. It’s certainly creative though. While the playing is admirable, the production is clean and nicely done at that with no signs of a murky mix, but occasionally it subdues songs which feel raw and feel like something about to break out such as the close of ‘Translucent Potency’. The most impressive quality though is a Metallica-esque knack for dare I say it, a catchy chorus, a staple that ruins so many standard rock songs, but it’s there on the likes of ‘Self Corruption Manifesto’ and ‘Wilting On The Vine’.

It is perhaps this that is earning the ire of fans of their previous work. Many fans who heard previews of the new work have accused the band’s latest as being uninspired and there were also uses of the dreaded ‘m’ word; mainstream, something the band founders themselves vehemently deny. To the neutral though this record is an enjoyable piece of thrash with the slightest hint of grandeur that takes the traditional metal style and adds little touches of its sub-genres to create a satisfying final product. Not all albums have to be unstoppable demonstrations of all out unending brutality but can sometimes be just enjoyed as a good piece of aggressive music. While Daath certainly don’t break any especially new ground, the ground they do tread serves them well to create an album worth coming back to.

Written by Paul Smith