Album Reviews

Daath – The Hinderers

(Road Runner) UK release date: 19 March 2007

Latest Roadrunner signings Daath pillage Jewish mysticism for symbolic visuals and a bizarre numerological source for their lyrics, they are also keen to let you know they aren�t Talmud bashers either. In principle I�m sure this bunch of metal heads would cause Rabbi Jonathan Sacks far more offence than their fellow Kabbalistic devotee Madonna; and Daath�s (interesting) interpretation of this complex form of mysticism certainly doesn�t produce a ‘ray of light’ vibe.

Playing on the dark and mysterious elements of Kabbalah that even a large number of Jews know little about, (which is understandable considering traditionally they aren�t allowed to start studying it until after their 40th birthday) Daath�s premise maybe somewhat trifling; but either way, it�s certainly got a deeper meaning than Linkin Park!

Beard stroking, dusty tome reading philosophies aside, they do make some kick ass metal though; and I’d be surprised if they didn�t get signed on the strength of opener Subterfuge alone. Driving drums and chugging riffs break into a grimy verse, and Sean Farber�s vocals are refreshingly heavy in a scene where rumours abound that even Matt Heavy has started taking singing lessons.

If you aren’t hooked on this band by the first song, I’m afraid there�s nothing hidden away mid album that will jump out and grab you by the throat screaming originality. That said, this is more of a testament to the strength of the opening number than the predictability of the following twelve songs.

If anything puts you off, it will be Daath�s diverse approach to the death metal formula. Not content to simply growl over paltry riffs, there is one word that should feature in every review about the Georgian sextet: progressive (but not in the Peter Gabriel sense of the word!). With lighting tempo changes and lead licks aplenty, by the time the virtuosic solos slam into the speakers there’s little left for them to prove.

Galloping on into From The Blind, any suspicions that Daath had started strong and were planning to spring a radio friendly number on us are laid to rest violently with a barrage of snare and battering double kick work. No surprise then that the sticksman behind the kit is former touring Chimera drummer Kevin Talley. Although he doesn’t feature on all the recording, Ovum will leave you to pick up your jaw after a three and a half minute attack, if the stabbing riffs don�t inflict too much damage along the way.

Under a Somber Sign is and War Born are fine examples of a creative approach to metal music, with Harps and keyboards featuring prominently while loosing none of the existing beef which is driven home in abundance. Sightless strips things back for a full on metallic assault, cueing windmill head swirls and mayhem in the pit. The alleged mystic inspirational source for lyrics and song meanings may well stand up for the first half of the album, however when Dead on the Dance Floor appears late on with the lyrics; ‘You shake your ass, but your already dead’, the nobility of this method demands question!

For the same reason old school thrash fans bemoan Max Cavalera�s world music infused Soulfly; for many death metal fans Daath might play with the formula a little to often for your liking. However, for the more open minded, if you like the thought of Opeth jamming with Slipknot (minus the decks and masks) while Dez Faffara barks a hate filled vocal manifesto; this might just be your idea of metal at its zenith.

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Daath – The Hinderers

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