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Daath - The Hinderers CD (album) cover

THE HINDERERS

Daath

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal


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The T
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4 stars I have been subjected to a few very disappointing experiences with extreme-prog metal lately. Bands that can't play it slower or can't play a single melody or that can't come up with an original idea, and bands that seem to adore this terrible "whatever-core" style of screaming and shouting, have made me lose faith in a genre that has given me plenty of great musical moments.

But finally I've found something that, while still extreme and pretty noisy, has all those elements I was missing from many other bands. Atlanta's DAATH is a true example of pushing the music to the limits without pushing it entirely out of bounds.

The first thing I noticed about the sound of this album, "The Hinderers", is how the synthesizers are actually an integral part of the band's extreme sound. DAATH plays a singular style of progressive death-metal with industrial elements and the keyboards are not just a gimmick or a background- enhancement-tool as in many other groups. In DAATH, the keys add to the actual metal effect, helping the guitars in building the wall of sound instead of just being used only for chords behind the main riffs. The keys collaborate with the guitars in the riff department from time to time, when they're not being played with industrial-mechanized effects. All of this adds a distinct flavor to the music. It sounds heavy, extreme, but also modern.

The vocals here are ever changing. Clean singing isn't to be found here, and most of the time what we have is a hybrid of death metal's classical low-pitched growling with black metal's typical high-pitched vocals. The voice kind of fluctuates between the two, going up and down depending on the needs of the music. It doesn't feel like a gimmick, but even better (especially for me), it adds something to the music. It's not brutal screaming for the sake of screaming. It's not anger; it's just another integral element of the music.

The album's songs are short and concise, but never feel devoid of ideas like in other bands. The length of the tracks doesn't come from the speed at what they're played or from how much the performers want to show-off their skills, but from the actual needs of every composition. The structures are never too complicated, and when all that had to be said has been said, it's over. Time to start another song.

The music has melody, for a change. And very atmospheric. At moments it has strong influences from the Swedish school of death metal, especially from the more melodic bands like SOILWORK or DARK TRANQUILITY. At the same time, there are influences from the brutal death metal scene, and I heard some hints of NILE in these songs, with some oriental/Egyptian/Hebrew-style riffs here and there, something which maybe shouldn't surprise us as the band's name itself comes from the Hebrew language, and also as it has been said that the members take a lot of influences from Da'at and Kabbalah. The music has also a very deep industrial influence as mentioned before, bordering in electronica for just a few moments in the album.

The musicianship is top-notch. I've discussed the singer and the keys already, but the rest of the band members also help drive this opus home. The album has three drummers and, it's safe to say, all of them are very skilled, playing a very similar style, with emphasis in the double bass drums, though that doesn't mean they don't have to time to more delicate drumming, like in the opening of "Who Will Take The Blame?" The guitars are very technical, also, and, unlike other extreme albums of late, have room here to express melodic ideas and even to solo every now and then.

All in all, an excellent sophomore release by DAATH, a band that shows extreme potential to create even better music. As of right now, it's one of the better technical-death-prog-metal albums I've heard this year, and I recommend it very strongly to fans of the genre.

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Send comments to The T (BETA) | Report this review (#172451)
Posted Wednesday, May 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
UMUR
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3 stars The Hinderers is the second full-length studio album by American ( Atlanta) extreme metal act Daath. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in 2007.

The music is riff based heavy metal/ death metal with processed growling vocals. Iīm reminded of a mix between Chimaira when the music is at its most crushingly heavy and Dark Tranquillity when the use of keyboards give the music a semi progressive sound. There are also some industrial influences in the music. The music on The Hinderers is a slight improvement over the music on the debut Futility (2004) which I found weak and generic ( this could be caused by the much better production though). The musicianship is excellent on the album but I still think the music is rather generic and simple. So overall I find the album very mediocre. None of the tracks stand out as being above average for the genre but on the other hand none are below standard either, so thatīs always something. Progressive elements? Well letīs say others obviously hear something different than I do because I hear next to none ( therefore the semi-progressive label above). The level of innovation is non-existent IMO. Now I donīt rate albums in degrees of progressive behaviour but even for heavy metal/ death metal standards this is a mediocre product that simply doesnīt have any impact on me. What bothers me the most is that a major metal label like Roadrunner Records keeps signing these mediocre bands. They used to be the leaders of the pack. I guess that title goes to Relapse Records at the moment.

The most prolific member of the band is without a doubt drummer Kevin Talley who has played with acts such as Soils of Fate, Misery Index, Decrepit Birth, The Red Chord, Dying Fetus, M.O.D., Chimaira, Dark Days, The Black Dahlia Murder, Cattle Decapitation, All The Way To The Bank and Nothnegal. His performance on this album is excellent and really helps increase the level of enjoyment for me. And that is much needed here.

The production is excellent. Clean and powerful.

From my review itīs not hard to guess that I donīt enjoy The Hinderers much. It leaves me totally indifferent but honouring my own principles of rating I will still rate the album with 3 small stars. This is a very professional product. Well performed, very well produced and well written ( well thatīs an aquired taste but still), so I canīt rate it with less even though it gives me almost zero enjoyment. I canīt recommend this album if youīre looking for new and innovative music but if youīre content with a crushingly heavy and rather polished modern heavy metal/ death metal album this might suit your taste.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#216693)
Posted Wednesday, May 20, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Daath has been breathing life into the pretty stagnant death metal scene for the last five years.

Their blend of some Gothenburg scene death metal, techno, some black metal, US death metal and industrial metal gives the tracks on this album plenty of air and life. The music is not as compact as normal death metal. The techno and industrial metal stuff here is really good. My only gripe is that I wish the music was harder and more brutal. I am not a fan of this Gothenburg death metal scene. I think this scene is far too melodic. But I can see why this band has their fans. They have even thrown in some melodic guitar solos on this album.

It would be unfair to single out any of the tracks here. The quality is generally good and this is one of the better alternative death metal albums around. Daath is duly noted in my book of good guys.

3 stars

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Send comments to toroddfuglesteg (BETA) | Report this review (#247989)
Posted Tuesday, November 03, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars I was quite supprised to see this band on the pages of Prog Archives as i would'nt consider them prog, more industrial groove metal, but i have had a soft spot for this band for a while now, so here goes my review. This is a great extreme metal album with many cool twists and turns, including the tinkley paino on UNDER A SOMBER SIGN, the dance floor grooves of DEAD ON THE DANCE FLOOR and even the very Zyklon influenced SUBTERFUGE. Its got quite a cool melodic death-metal air to it as well mixed in with some thrash, black metal and electronics. Production wise its got a killer mix as all good modern metal albums have, and some really sweet riffs, throw in some frankly addictivly catchy hooks such as the Korn like vocal melody on OVUM and the before mentioned DEAD ON THE DANCE FLOOR with its techno meets death metal vibe and this is a metal free for all that should suit both metal and prog fans down to the ground;

Subterfuge - 9/10 From the Blind - 8/10 Cosmic Forge - 8/10 Sightless - 8/10 Under a Somber Sign - 9/10 Ovum - 9/10 Festival Mass Soulform - 8/10 Above Lucium - 8/10 Who Will Take the Blame- 8/10 War Born (Tri-Adverserenade) - 7/10 Dead on the Dancefloor - 8/10 Blessed Through Misery - 8/10 The Hinderers - 8/10

My Conclusion? This is a great mix of extreme prog and industrial grooves that is recomended for both fans of metal and prog who like something heavier.

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Send comments to FarBeyondProg (BETA) | Report this review (#282644)
Posted Wednesday, May 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Death metal I thought was dying. So many silly sub genres coming from it, tech death, deathcore, screamo, scream core, gump core...all that [&*!#]. The basics of death metal were fading away. It was always the older bands, like Deicide, Carcass, Death, Napalm Death, Cainnibal Corpse, which made me go "this is death metal" as I listened to their music and embraced their cold embrace. It's very rare when a new death metal band comes out and really intrigues me. This is one of those bands.

I literally had never heard of these guys until this album came along. From reading magazines like Metal Hammer and Total Guitar, I saw that this album was getting alot of positive feedback, which to be honest, in today's metal climate, isnt the easiest thing to do. I saw this album in my local HMV, so I thought, "meh, whats the worst that could happen". And this album is an example of a risk that brings forth only the greatest positives.

I think the reason why I like this band, and love this album so much is because "THEIR IS ACTUAL SONGS ON IT." The one thing that annoys me about modern death metal is that the actual art of songwriting seems to be gone. It justs seems to be a big penis envy competition to see how heavy a band could get, yet most bands lack the actual depth to write songs. Luckily these guys can actually do that.

In their last album I reviewed "The Concealers" (2009), I was pondering why these guys are considered a "prog" death band, and now I can kind of see why, especially with this album. These guys are able to craft quite complicated and intricate songs without them being too lengthy, too disfragmented and to the point. These guys are able to do that, and also they can make each song as unique as possible, which is a very hard thing for bands to do these days.

The sound these guys make is pretty epic. The album is produced incredibly well, in fact, if your looking for an example of a wee produced album, this is it. The album was produced by James Murphy, who you may remember from such bands as DEATH! and OBITUARY! (classic death metal bands), and he even does a guitar solo on the album. The album was also on Roadrunner...and I do admit, they may not handle bands too well, but when it comes to producing an album, they'll make sure it sounds as perfect as it should be.

Musically, it really is a marvel. It takes the death metal sound, adds the proggy edges, adds a heap load of darkness and gloom, and cuts it down to such a easily listenable album (well it's death metal...it's not exactly Simply Red). Their is also alot of experimentation within the album, like industrial influences, electronica and prog influences. Other than that, its an extreme metal fest. The songs themselves are some of the catchiest and most kick ass death metal songs I have heard in a very long time.

The vocals are also the best death metal vocals I have heard in a long time. Why Sean Farber left the band I'll never know, but whatever he;s doing now, and if he's in a band...I want to find out what he's up too. Lyrically the album is really interesting, dealing with existentionalism topics and some really dark and interesting philosphies. Overall, the lyrics add a dark and dank skin over this egg of absolute murky epicness.

1. Subterfuge - Great start to the album. Such an amazing song, with a killer chorus. The wists and turns really add to the atmosphere of the song. 10/10

2. From The Blind - Has quite a Carcass vibe to it. Love the instrumental section in the middle. How Sean dictates his vocals really is an amazing triumph. 10/10

3. Comsuc Forge - Love the use of keyboards in this song. The odd dark melodic chorus is really killer. A dark dank mother of a song. 10/10

4. Sightless - Has such a killer riff in the song. The chorus is pretty cool too. The vocals as usual are amazing. Their is also a pretty cool Alien like music video to this song. 10/10

5. Under A Somber Sign - One of the most melodic songs on the album. Still incredibly dark and breathtaking. 10/10

6. Ovum - My favourite song on the album. Jesus I love this song so much. The vocals give me chills every time I hear it. Such an amazing chorus. If you haven't heard this song, please listen to it, it really is an underlooked death metal classic. 10/10

7. Festival Mass Soulform - Great chorus. Such a dark epic song. Love the lyrics too. 10/10

8. Above Lucium - Some incredibly heavy riffs in this song. A very heavy mother of a song. Great arrangement. This also has one of the best chorus' on the album. 10/10

9. Who Will Take The Blame? - Love the use of electronics and keyboards on this song. Grea diverse vocals. Their is also a pretty cool guitar solo from James Murphy (DEATH METALLLLL) - 10/10

10. War Born (Tri-adverserenade) - Such a fast, brutal and quick song. It's gone in the blink of an eye, and you really will end up missing it. 9/10

11. Dead On The Dance Floor - I love how this song, which you may think is a dance song, turns into an epic death metal song. The 2 styles are mixed incredibly well and don't really feel forced. The lyrics are funny too. Great chorus as well. 10/10

12. Blessed Through Misery - Love the raspy vocals. A very doomy and gloomy song. 7/10

13. The Hinderers - Love the intro to this song. Such an epic way to end the album. Great use of atmosphere and the ending with the timpani and keys really adds to the epic feel of the song. 9/10

CONCLUSION: This album reminds me of another album released around the same time this album was release, which is Scar Symmetry's Pitch Black Progress. It came from nowhere, I got it as a dare, and now the album has become one of my all time favourites. This is probabbly one of the best death metal albums released in a long time and really is one of the best metal albums to really blow me away and stay in my memory for such a long time. I really suggest you listen to this album, because it really is bringing back great death metal. I LOVE THIS ALBUM.

9.2/10

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Send comments to arcane-beautiful (BETA) | Report this review (#611541)
Posted Tuesday, January 17, 2012 | Review Permalink

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