Music Reviews

EP REVIEW: Impending Doom – Hellbent

Photo Credit: Luke Cooper

Impending Doom have always forged their own path throughout their long and illustrious career. Often referred to as a pioneer of the deathcore genre and being looked upon as torchbearers by their peers, the band have proven time and time again that they belong at the very top of the deathcore tree. Now, in 2022, the band have penned their first release in over three years, entitled Hellbent, and they are ready to spread a little chaos and destruction for the new year.

The album opens with Satanic Panic, a song full to the brim with low-tuned, pulverising riffs and intricate drum patterns. From the outset it’s clear what the band are here to do: destroy everything in their path with their well-known brand of heaviness, laying down their own soundtrack to some of the biggest pits imaginable when the world finally returns to some semblance of normality. One thing that is immediately apparent, is the influence that the mixing from Will Putney has on the sound of Hellbent. His world-famous penchant for getting the most out of drum recording is no different in this instance, with everything sounding clean and precise without ever coming across as too polished or compressed.

Impending Doom rarely waiver from their chosen path, which can either be seen as a strength or a weakness. However, when it’s done to this kind of high quality it’s hard to argue for the latter. For example, New World Horror is built around a bludgeoning heavy riff and a plethora of intense drumbeats that make up the spine of the song, coupled with the bowel-rumbling vocals that make everything feel frenzied and evil, without ever losing the direct approach that the band has always taken.

The drumming throughout this release is the main focal point and that is no more apparent than on Culture of Death, with the thunderous triplets that sound like heavy artillery laying the foundation for the rest of the track. The addition of the eerie lead guitar tones provides more texture to the proceedings than anything else we have witnessed on this EP so far. It makes everything feel much darker in terms of atmosphere, perhaps rescuing the release from venturing into the troubled waters of repetition and predictability.

As the EP reaches its latter stages things begin to feel a little stagnant. The second half is exactly what we have come to expect, that is a headbanging affair with breakdowns piled on top of each other and plenty of disgustingly heavy, low-end riffs for fans to sink their teeth into. However, it does feel at times that certain ideas have been rehashed and reused a few too many times and things feel a little by-the-numbers. This is not to say that the quality isn’t there, more that for people who are searching for a little more than raw power and heaviness may be left a little underwhelmed.

To say that this is a release that Impending Doom will be known for is perhaps pushing things a little too far, with glimpses of originality feeling a little few and far between. However it will certainly serve as a welcome introduction to new fans, who need a small taste of the formula that has made the band what they are to this point, whilst providing some long-awaited new material to appease their long-serving fans.

7/10

Standout Tracks: New World Horror, Culture Of Death

For Fans Of: Molotov Solution, Whitechapel, Chelsea Grin

Written by: Richard Webb 

Richard Webb
A Kentish lad at the wrong end of his twenties. I'm a journalist that loves anything grizzly and gruesome whether it's in music, film or art. My guitar and vinyl collections are amongst my prize possessions and my wardrobe is predominantly black.