Impending Doom - _Signum of Hate_
(Independent, 1998)
by: Paul Schwarz (8.5 out of 10)
What first caught my attention about Impending Doom was their astounding ability (or luck) in managing to give their debut (I am pretty sure it is their debut) a production which is as clear and deadly as a glacier in the face. It then dawned upon me, after repeated listens to _Signum of Hate_, that the band are also talented musicians and writers. What astounds me is their ability to mix different metal influences within single tracks to produce good music, a skill such masters as Celtic Frost were noted for, and their daring in placing upon _SoH_ a selection of tracks with real variety. Though "Armageddon Tales" and "Hellhammer" could easily pass for lost compositions of the latter's band namesake or the early period of the metal phenomenon which grew out it, "Metal to the Metals" evokes classic Sodom and owes nothing in feel or sound to Celtic Frost or Hellhammer. "Land of Burning Coffins" instead nods towards Destruction. Then, just when you thought all they were going to do was sound like the classic thrash bands who pre-empted 90s black metal, you hear "Demon-(Mon)archy" or "Forward to Golgotha". Though utilizing technical twin guitar work which can be found elsewhere on the album, the significant difference is that these two tracks in particular capitalize on melody -- not just guitar melody; tuneful vocal melody and decent keyboards. The range on offer on _SoH_ is great, greater than I have seen for a long time. As writing single tracks go, the band is talented, both in imitating their elders and composing material, with some originality, which very listenable. As writing and constructing an album goes, the band needs some help. _SoH_ doesn't, to my mind, fit together well at all. Instead, it sounds like a compilation of the cobbled-together-without-thought sort. Unlike most compilations, there is little itch to skip tracks, but like most there is no real benefit or enjoyment in listening to the CD chronologically. As a result, _SoH_ is a disappointingly disjointed album, but one which showcases a band with serious raw potential.

Contact: IMPENDING DOOM, c/o Andy Kaufmann

(article published 1/10/1998)

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