Impending Doom – “Hellbent” (e.p)


Impending Doom return with an ep sure to leave longtime fans wanting more and showing others some twists on deathcore.

Impending Doom began nearly 17 years before this ep was released with Brook Reeves and Manny Contreras remaining as the only two original members. Along the way, the band has released 6 full length albums ranging from Nailed, Dead, Risen in 2007 to The Sin and Doom Vol II in 2018. As tends to happen, the band has gone through numerous lineup and label changes over the years and looks to actually be a 3 piece at the moment based on promo photos. Over the years, the band has toured with everyone from Winds of Plague to Asking Alexandria and been in package tours like the 2010 Thrash and Burn tour. For Hellbent, the band drafted Will Putney (Body Count, Thy Art is Murder, Knocked Loose) as producer and his touch is evident throughout. The ep is characterized by pounding bass, and drums featured prominently in the mix so as to not get lost in the general wall of sound chaos. Vocals are where they need to be, clear, distorted, and otherwise with some unique stylings by Brook Reeves channeling Corey Taylor in Slipknot form.

From my standpoint, I haven’t really followed the evolution of Impending Doom’s sound over the years since Nailed, Dead, Risen where it was pretty straightforward grindcore complete with pig squeal vocals. Heavy and punishing for sure. So imagine my surprise when I fired up Hellbent and hear “Satanic Panic” which has some electronic elements and sounds a bit like a deathcore version of Slipknot. Regardless of that shift, the song is heavy and pounding and yet somewhat melodic. The bass guitar work really shines here and in other songs on the ep. As one might imagine, there is the expected breakdown, but in this case it’s part of the song and not the focus of the song.

“New World Horror” opens with a guitar riff that sound very much like a thousand other metalcore/deathcore bands from Facedown records. I’m not terribly nostalgic for that sound, so the song misses the mark for me, but there again is some great drum work cutting through the guitars and some layered guitar lines add a bit of complexity to the song.

“Culture of Death” changes things up a bit and shows how the band’s sound has changed since I first heard them. The bass line throughout much of the song is massive and at time that combined with the eerie guitar reminds me of something Korn might do if they wrote songs this heavy. The song itself is slower, plodding, and crushing with a heaviness that never really lets up even when the bass fades out of the mix. Brook Reeves vocals are strained, dark, and heavy throughout. The sections where the drums sound like they were recorded down the hall with the characteristic guitar tone and riffs work really well to divide the song up and stave off repetitiveness.

“Hellbent” wastes no time in bringing in the breakdowns and basically opens the song with one before picking up the pace for a faster verse section. Again here the band starts channeling Slipknot in parts that aren’t breakdowns. “I Must End” closes out the ep and continues the Slipknot/Corey Taylor vibe especially in the verse sections that are almost spoken in nature. Layered guitars add nice texture and some electronic effects bring variety to a song equally heavy and punishing as any other on the album.

While not the grindcore I remember from so long ago, Impending Doom do manage for the most part to avoid a reliance on breakdowns and that old deathcore guitar tone from the early 2000s that really annoys me. I do get the feeling that fans of Impending Doom will find a lot to like here. Those who aren’t avid fans of breakdown-filled deathcore will also find some things on this ep that will spark some interest and have them looking out for the next full length.

Rating: 7.5/10

Written by John Jackson

1. Satanic Panic
2. New World Horror
3. Culture of Death
4. Hellbent
5. I Must End

Band Members
Brook Reeves – vocals
Manny Contreras – guitars
Andrew Holzbaur – drums
David Sittig – bass

Release Date: 29 October 2021

Record Label: MNRK Heavy

Weblinks: Facebook Twitter / Bandcamp

Video for ‘New world Horror’

Video for ‘Culture of Death’

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