Sound — 7
Daath is one of the recently acquired acts featured on the Roadrunner label. They often describe themselves as an industrial death metal bandfeaturing the use of blast beats, dropped C tunings, some creative lead work, and that annoying add-on of the synth and drum machine. As far as a sound goes Devildriver comes to mind, perhaps a little too much like DD. Daath utilizes the chugging mechanism, melodic riffing, and swirling leads often associated with Devildriver. At some points, it almost becomes a tribute album. As a side note, don't let that turn you off from the band altogether though. The songs retain a definite catchiness that is a result of the DD influence, unlike a lot of death metal where the riffs are fast, many, and seldom returning. Daath can be best summed up as Devildriver with a few heavier elements and deeper lyrics. The album was put out by Roadrunner and mixed by James Murphywho even plays on 'Who Will Take The Blame.' Overall sound production is crystal clear and is possibly the one thing they outdo Devildriver with, who often have a muddy final mix. I give the sound a 7/10 for it's stellar clarity, appeal, but take from it on the unoriginality factor.
Lyrics — 6
The link above offers much into the reasons and meanings behind the band and their actions/ releases. The plan is to make 13 albums each featuring 13 songs that correlate with the Tree of Life and it's properties. "As you may know, our band is an exploration of the Tree of Life in man, or simply put, an exploration of the mind in man. Each of our albums will be exploring the different nodes or areas of the human psyche. Within each node, or Sephira, is yet another tree. Therefore, Dth will ultimately be a 13 album project with each album having 13 songs.(See fig 4) This current album, "The Hinderers" explores the adverse side of wisdom. Each of the 13 songs is a different aspect of the negative attributes of that node." "Since Daath (knowledge) is ruptured, the smooth connection between the instincts and the intellect is also disrupted. This disruption, in our opinion, is that which causes most of the strife in the world. This fundamental knowledge is vital for the human psyche to function properly. The attainment of this lost or broken knowledge is truly the restoration of balance in the mind. We feel that by exploring and expressing these imbalances we can eventually overcome the psychological blocks which impede our growth as human beings." Both quotes from aforementioned website. Above is a link to their lyrics on 'The Hinderers.' In my opinion, the lyrics really aren't anything special, possibly it's just Faber's presentation. His growling style is rather flat lined at one pitch and offers very little in dynamic. After some time, I can almost assure that you will come to hate his voice. I give the lyrics/ vox about a 6 because sure the idea behind their music is neat and philosophical, but is presented in a way that is rather tedious to listen to and gets annoying. And as said before, the lyrics are nothing special and some songs left me wondering why would they write this garbage.
Overall Impression — 7
01. Subterfuge - a wicked opener. The guitars juxtapose between chugging death metal, to a tremolo picked version of said riff, up through searing leads, to an acoustic interlude, and culminate in a pretty likeable solo. The chorus is a bonus here as well; remember that Devildriver influence, well, the chorus is the first true sign of it. As far as drumming, it's pretty standard patterns and fills throughout the entire album really. 02. From The Blind - this is my second favorite song, it has a great flow from riff to riff and a 'beat the hell out of the kid next to you' chorus. The breakdown leads into a catchy and creative little swirling lead. Then it's off to solo part 2 which can be summed up as flawless, and right back into the fast-paced verse, pre-chorus and chorus. 03. Cosmic Forge - of the first four, it is last, but it still retains it's place above the rest of the album. One of the slower songs, the features a chugging verse and an atmospheric chorus with a soothing lead behind it. Another well organized and well flowing solo finds itself in the song. After the solo it just repeats the already mentioned parts but adds a catchy and very well placed lead that guides the song into the it's ending. 04. Sightless - this one is my favorite. The opening riff is quick and thunderous and leads into a slower, more doom laden verse and pre-chorus. Again, the catchy, quick tempo chorus section. After the second chorus comes the lead breakdown section with houses one of the best and catchiest solos I have ever heard. The chorus re- enters with new fervor and ends with even more ferocity than it began with. 05. Under A Somber Sign - this is one of the first signs that perhaps the entire album isn't as good as it's opening tracks. I get bored easily with this track, but it is listenable in conservative doses. Overall, the intensity level of the album has dropped considerably with this song. 06. Ovum - a return to the quick, fast riffing and high intensity playing. This song is not up there with the sheer appeal of the first four, but is one of the better tracks featured on the album. Not really any sort of lead work, there is a slight interlude, but it really doesn't add any new elements to the music as it just puts the riff below it into a melody. 07. Festival Mass Soulform - perhaps trying to make a more 'epic' track here, the riffs are slow to a moderate pace, with a couple faster breaks. The chorus is the highlight of this song for me and successfully incorporates the synth orchestration. And the lead work is short and serves the song rather than featuring a solo. 08. Above Lucium - the synth, it is annoying now. This song is a disappointment in and of itself. A listenable chorus, but don't waste your time on the rest of a song that sounds all too old and familiar in a bad way. A breakdown verse attempts to reignite the intensity of the earlier songs, but fails with uninspiring lyrics and vocal presentation. 09. Who Will Take The Blame? - a definite appearance of that truly annoying synth, and the opening reminds me of some Cradle of Filth with it's simple, yet sinister single note riffing. Really nothing special that stands out with this song except James Murphy who is the only reason I ever even listen to this song. 10. War Born (Tri-Adverserenade) - the probably one and only true death metal song on the album. It's rather short-- less than 3 minutes, but has a considerable amount of lyrics it runs through and features one of the most aggressive riffs on the album. Sadly, no solo. 11. Dead On The Dance Floor - if there was ever a song that left me sickened, it was most certainly this one. A techno- club dance death metal mix, keep this antithesis of good music from your library at all costs. Lyrics like "You shake your ass, but you're already dead (no one cares)" can't help but to spark the question, so remember the Daath Complex, where does this song fit? Should you be downloading the album, save yourself 99 cents and life trauma and forget to click that 'download this song' button. 12. Blessed Through Misery - he doom/death metal song that utterly fails with it's atrocious instrumentation and slow moving pace until salvation is found in the last couple minutes. James Malone of Arsis shreds his way into the picture with a solo that alleviates the suffering of the few minutes it took to get through the rest of that song. 13. The Hinderers - I've never heard this song because my CD came messed up so I could never play it. Taking into consideration that I can only judge 12 songs I would give the album as a whole a 7. The beginning was quite promising and got me head banging, while the latter half was hit or miss and featured some of the worst death metal I have heard in awhile.