DAY OF DOOM - The Gates of Hell (LAVADOME Productions - CD 2014)
Another CD, which I received from Lavadome Productions… but this time it isn’t band from Czech Republic, but from the US soil!! They’re called Day of Doom, and damn… “The Gates of Hell” is already their third album, but I never heard of them before. Well, it doesn’t matter. I must say that the two previous Lavadome releases I listened to (which were Heaving Earth and Destroying Divinity) crushed me instantly and delivered death metal, whose high quality is undisputable. But with Day of Doom it took me some more time to figure out what’s this music is all about. It’s one of those albums, which is based on rather classic death metal means, but the band surely doesn’t want everything to be so easy and incorporate into their songs some more unusual, sometimes just weird, ideas or riffs… I definitely don’t like everything what I have heard on this CD, but at the same time some stuff here is truly great. So, not an easy album, but more challenging for sure.
As mentioned, the foundation of the music on “The Gates of Hell” is death metal. It’s obscure, rather heavy and brutal death metal, which maybe sometimes can give you some small similarity to such classics as Baphomet, Immolation or even such Blaspherian. Having in mind that the production of the album is very raw, heavy and far from polished, you can imagine that the result is just brutal and ruthless, crushing with no hesitation. And as such I think this album isn’t that bad. There are several really good moments, maybe far from being remarkable and timeless classics quality, but solid and worthy for sure. But the thing is the whole “The Gates of Hell” is very varied and so it’s also very inconsistent, to the point when Day of Doom plays some stuff, which I am not even sure if it sounds good or if it fits the whole death metal skeleton. You know… There are many fast and brutal death metal parts, but with a lot of sudden tempo changes, as well as weird and unsuspected variety of the atmosphere, switching between the aggressive and brutal death metal into some weird stuff (take the title song as an example!)… One minute the band blasts like crazy with extreme stuff and suddenly breaks the tempo and switches into something completely different and almost progressive. Hmm, I am just not sure if that works well. Sure, it puts Day of Doom into the category of more original and untypical death metal bands, but does it have to mean it’s better? I guess it just depends on everyone’s preferences.
I prefer the straight up brutal death metal, I don’t require sophisticated music from it… and surely some stuff, which Day of Doom performs sounds like it is just not necessary. The whole music is quite complex and technical, just listen to the bass arrangements on every song! Also some really nice guitar leads. Anyways, in songs like “The Gates of Hell” I feel like it’s gone step too far in that bad direction. Not always the ideas of Day of Doom are that good, I mentioned one song, but I can also point out such “An Evil Demoncy”… I’m not trying to say it’s worthless crap, but surely also not something what I would really like. But even in more straight forward and brutal songs like “Father’s Lies” I feel like for example the vocal arrangements are dull. Luckily, there’re also enough good and interesting parts / ideas, so the album is listenable haha! Besides, there are such really awesome tunes as “Circle of Eternal Aftermath”, which is basically an instrumental track, but it stands above the rest of the material as it’s doomy, melodic and epic (with quite Eastern music influence maybe in the melody??)… surely it’s a nice pause between the brutal death metal content. Then there’s such “Feasting on the Flesh of the Godly Ones”, which has quite strong Morbid Angel-style riffing here and there and it’s maybe a reason why I like it so much haha!
Standout tracks: “Circle of Eternal Aftermath”, “Feasting on the Flesh of the Godly Ones”
Final rate: 60/100