Impending Doom The Serpent Servant

While their debut was a tight, unassuming deathcore release with sharp production and surprisingly gimmick-free songwriting, The Serpent Servant sees Impending Doom looking to cash in on the current trends, big time, with disappointing results. Essentially combining their earlier Suffocation-lite approach with the Acacia Strain's thunderous Meshuggah mosh, their newfound affinity for predictable, grade-z breakdowns drastically hinders not only their distinctiveness but their respectability. Throughout the album, the group come across as half-heartedly retreading extremely well worn territory, only occasionally rising above mediocrity during fleeting moments of acceptable slam-death metal. The hardcore influences present here are boring at best and cringe-inducing at worst. Part of what made their debut even moderately effective was that those elements were downplayed in favour of a more brutish, traditionalist delivery. Yet another tepid, flat lined mix from Zeuss doesn't help things one bit either, rendering already uninspired songwriting that much less enthralling. Unless you really need more of this sort of thing in your collection, don't waste your money on The Serpent Servant. Go buy your mom some flowers or something. (Facedown)