Daath - _The Hinderers_
(Roadrunner Records, 2007)
by: Jackie Smit (
Consider the stature of some of the names that Monte Connor and Roadrunner Records have discarded like a used sheet of two-ply over the years: Deicide, Suffocation, Malevolent Creation and, most recently, Obituary, and it's rather peculiar that they'd select Daath as their vehicle for re-entering the extreme scene. Not least among the reasons for this irony is the fact that the Atlanta sextet formerly known as Dirtnap hardly embody the classic curdling of black and death metal that Roadrunner's press cogs have proclaimed them to be. In fact, take away the slicker than a vat of processed whale blubber production job, and Daath could quite easily have been a marquee act on the Nuclear Blast roster in the mid-Nineties.If that had been the case, then they certainly wouldn't have been out of place alongside experimentalists like The Kovenant. With the exception of a handful of more straightforward numbers ("Ovum" being exhibit A in the line-up) which dish up fairly bog-standard melodic death metal, the majority of _The Hinderers_ sees Daath pay equal homage to Deicide's _Once Upon the Cross_-era groove, Cradle of Filth's gothic crescendos, Fear Factory's cyber-core and even the psychotic drum 'n' bass of Aphex Twin. It makes for interesting if asperous listening. "Dead on the Dance Floor" will most likely be seen by many as little more than juvenile "weirding out", as vocalist Sean Farber mockingly grunts: "You shake your ass, but you're already dead." Emperor's proverbial moment of shame (_Prometheus_ in case you're wondering) seems to have been the principal inspiration for particularly the opening slivers to "Festival Soulform".But when these disparate elements synchronise, Daath prove themselves a capable and bold proposition. The balance of traditional brute force and electronica on "Illuminator" crosses the goalline before it's hit the half-minute mark. Likewise, "Who Will Take the Blame" and the record's title track display enough talent to almost make up for a hundred piss-poor mallcore disasters to bear the Roadrunner seal of approval. Indeed, the only thing about _The Hinderers_ that you're likely to find truly intolerable is the volume of know-nothing simpletons who'll undoubtedly pick this up in a futile attempt to boost their underground cred.
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