01. Genocidal Maniac
02. Destruction/Restoration
03. Indestructible Overdose
04. Double Tap Suicide
05. The Decider
06. Exit Plan
07. Oxygen Burn
08. Accelerant
09. Arch [Enemy] Misanthrope
10. Manufactured Insomnia
11. A Cold Devotion
12. N.A.T.G.O.D.
13. Terminal Now

[Century Media | 10/26/10]

If you remember, Daath were included in my “List of Bands To Stop Being A Lazy Dick About.” I’ve always heard good things about the band, but never sought them out. I never really get around to checking out new bands until they become relevant in the news. Luckily for me, a lot of the bands I’ve been neglecting are coming out with new albums, including Atheist, Intronaut, and of course, Daath.

Coming only a year after the release of their critically acclaimed album The Concealers (not to mention the Levi/Werstler project earlier this year), Daath uses all of this momentum from their recent upswing to creates the fucking powerhouse that is their new self titled record. I’ve listened to the band’s back catalog in preparation for this, and it is immediately obvious on first listen why Daath decided to make this album self-titled; there’s no doubt in my mind that this is the band’s definitive record, and certainly their best work to date.

While primarily death metal, Daath aren’t to be pigeon-holed. There’s a hodge-podge of metal subgenres at work here, including black metal, prog, thrash, and industrial–all pieced together with precision and seemingly little effort. Daath, the band’s fourth full length, features impeccable songwriting with a tasteful showcase of technical ability from all members involved.

It goes without saying, as it’s been evidenced in their self-titled music project, but Eyal Levi and Emil Werstler are top-notch guitar players. The focal point for most of the record lies in the melodically technical guitar work. The riffs are absolutely crushing and the soloing (oh, there’s plenty of it) is awe inspiring. Clearly, the guitar duo slaved over composition instead of throwing out simplistic riffs and soulless leads and solos. Great attention to detail is shown not only for a composition aspect, but from tonality as well. Leads and solos are often drenched in a miriad of effects to keep things interesting, making songs like “Indestructible Overdose” and “Arch [Enemy] Misanthrope” highlights, the latter in which takes a brief jazz break. When considering both technicality and songwriting skill, you’d be hard pressed to find better guitar work than this on any other death metal record.

This barrage of chaotic fretwork is backed by a tight rhythm section featuring bassist Jeremy Creamer and Kevin Talley. Talley’s drumwork is astounding and varied, being sure to become more than just a back track for the others to build off of. Creamer’s bass breaks through in the mix from time to time when there’s breathing room, but he’s omnipresent and always adding some crunch under all of the action. This foundation is strong here.

While not immediately apparent, there’s a greater use of synth and keyboard layering. While only rarely taking the spotlight, From Exile‘s Eric Guenther contributes as a session musician by padding up the atmosphere, adding to the industrial feel. It may take a few listens to notice, but he’s there. Hopefully he doesn’t remain unsung, as this record wouldn’t be the same without him.

Sean Zatorsky is one of the strongest vocalists in death metal in his uniqueness, lyrics, and delivery. When your songwriting process involves screaming random shit into the microphone and then filling in the rhythm with lyrics inspired from hallucinogenic trips, you’re pretty much on top of your game and guaranteed to come up with interesting ideas. Proving that vocals can be catchy without use of clean singing, Zatorsky is much, much more than a lyrical vehicle. Songs like “The Decider” and “Exit Plan” would not be the same without his powerful raspy screams.

The only downfall that could ever be of detriment to Daath is that it is definitely a grower. There’s so much going on in the mix that you have to listen again and again to be able to get used to the songs and the subtle nuances that make them catchy. With each listen, this album will give you new things that you didn’t catch the first (or second, or third) time. Whether this is actually a bad thing or not is up to you, but I find that this album guarantees multiple listens. It’s not like many people out there will have a problem with wanting to give this one several spins, as it’s fucking great.

Daath – Daath gets…


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