DAATH
"The Concealers"

(Roadrunner/Century Media)

01. Sharpen The Blades
02. Self-Corruption Manifesto
03. The Worthless
04. The Unbinding Truth
05. Silenced
06. Wilting On The Vine
07. Translucent Potency
08. Day Of Endless Light
09. Duststorm
10. Of Poisoned Sorrows
11. Incestuous Amplification

RATING: 8/10

Given that DAATH's first full-length, "The Hinderers" was a well-intended, yet ultimately directionless and obviously pieced together foray into the blood-red waters of hybrid-metal, one that even the band themselves would rather see take a dirtnap (let's see who picks up on this one…), I'm not going spend too much dwelling on said disc. I will say that it was at least a decent effort that showed a band with the potential to live up to the hype which was thrust upon them. Well, it may have taken a year and a half, a new singer (Sean Z), the loss of keyboardist Mike Kameron (and with him almost any trace of industrial influence) and the procurement of Kevin Talley's (ex-CHIMAIRA, ex-DYING FETUS, et al.) fulltime services, but through it all, the real DAATH has arrived.

"The Concealers" sticks out from the current crop of metal albums in the way that "Rust In Peace" stuck out almost two decades ago. That's not to say the two records sound anything alike, but DAATH guitarists Eyal Levi and Emil Werstler are well on their way to becoming the Mustaine/Friedman of their time. My comparison comes from the fact that, like the MEGADETH classic, "The Concealers" employs a highly skilled twin guitar attack that delivers a blistering tour de force of riffing and soloing, but in a way that puts the steak before the sizzle. In other words, the duo place far more focus on the song itself, instead of showboating it like the lads in DRAGONFORCE might. Also, much like 'DETH juiced up their thrash/speed metal roots and took a step beyond their peers, so too does DAATH with modern American metal (breakdown-free, thank Odin), death and melo-death. The MEGADETH/DAATH simile ends, however, when you look at the roads the two bands have traveled and see that these promising upstarts have a long ways to go before reaching the song-smithing peak that Mr. Mustaine was sitting atop of back in the day. They'll no doubt reach that point someday as the relentless "Sharpen The Blades", which allows Sean Z's mostly audible and angry-as-Corey-Taylor-wished-he-was vocals to lay down meaty hooks atop some blistering riffage or the dark and dynamic "The Worthless" prove. A unique blend of proggish folk, melodic black and that little twist of DAATH on "The Unbinding Truth" makes said tune one of the album's most memorable. While the band's multi-faceted approach, which finds devastating throat-slicers like "Incestuous Amplification" and "Wilting On The Vine" oddly placed amongst the passable keyboard interlude "Duststorm" and DIMMU BORGIR-styled "…Of Poisoned Sorrows", nearly all eleven of these tracks have earned their way onto the album.

Individually, all five members of DAATH have the chops to fill this entire album with ego-stroking displays of their own talents, but they don't. In fact, this is a more of a calculated, determined and focused 'band' effort than many produced by musicians of lesser ilk. The overall delivery may not be what it could, and DAATH does lack the hard-earned experience that comes from ten-plus years of dogging it out, but they've found their footing on that proverbial ladder; let the climbing begin.

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