Monday, June 25, 2012

Review: Dr. Doom - Everyone Is Guilty

Dr. Doom, the death metal/grindcore group from the Netherlands and not the Marvel super villain, have been floating around the underground virtually unheard of for the past six years despite having shared the stage with legendary death metal acts such as Cephalic Carnage and Regurgitate. Prior to April 2012, the band only had an EP and a split under their belts, but the few who experienced the content felt as if they had struck revolutionary grindcore gold. Now, with a full-length debut album, will Dr. Doom soon become a metalhead household name?

Genre: Death Metal/Grindcore
Label: Hammerheart Records
Release Date: April 23rd, 2012
  1. Le Temps Detruit Tout
  2. Prophesied Disaster
  3. Improving Time
  4. A Certain Special Kind of Hatred No Words Can Express
  5. Die With Me
  6. Spite Bearer
  7. Exiled to the Deserts of Nothingness 
  8. Stock Broker Down
  9. Working Class Crusade
  10. Few Dead Men
  11. Pillored en Public
  12. Pater Tempus Tui Ventum Est  
  13. This Is Our Funeral
  14. Counter Culture
  15. The Keys to My Heart
  16. Apollo's Death
Total Playtime: 39 minutes, 10 seconds

                          Official Website   
       
Rating: 8.0/10







Dr. Doom, the death metal/grindcore group from the Netherlands and not the Marvel super villain, have been floating around the underground virtually unheard of for the past six years despite having shared the stage with legendary death metal acts such as Cephalic Carnage and Regurgitate. Prior to April 2012, the band only had an EP and a split under their belts, but the few who experienced the content felt as if they had struck revolutionary grindcore gold. Now, with a full-length debut album, will Dr. Doom soon become a metalhead household name?

The material present in Everyone Is Guilty is drenched in spicy variety, rarely sticking to one set tempo or style. Making use of a long track listing comprised of songs that last two minutes or under, and just a handful of tracks that exceed the three minute mark, the longest track being "Apollo's Death" (which is one of the tracks more abundant with doom influence) checking in at six minutes, forty four seconds. Of the sixteen song track list, "Few Dead Men", "This Is Our Funeral", "The Keys to My Heart", and "Working Class Crusade" have appeared on the previous EP and split but the content has been re-recorded to fit the better sound quality and production on this full-length debut effort.

The first six tracks are fast and brutal. JB van der Wal, who played bass for the new Aborted album Global Flatline (reviewed here), makes his presence known immediately in "Prophesied Disaster" when the song cuts away a few times in a row to reveal his deep, twangy bass line. Throughout the entire album the bass is brought to the front of the mixer, often competing with the guitar track for rights to the lead hook. This is heard more prominently in the aforementioned track and "Stock Broker Down".


Everyone Is Guilty has all of the fundamentals to make an incredibly diverse record, except for one factor that is the downfall of the content; vocals. Throughout 3/4s of the content, the vocals stay at the same screamed pitch, often taking on an unwelcome distortion that causes most lyrics to be unrecognizable at best, "A Certain Special Kind of Hatred No Words Can Express" and "Few Dead Men" are pristine examples of this issue. For a few tracks this is not a problem, "Spite Bearer", "Apollo's Death",  and "Exiled to the Deserts of Nothingness" along with the rest of the slower songs don't have the vocal problems that the majority of the faster content does.

"Spite Bearer" is where the album begins to slow down, and with deep haunting growls proclaims the album title a few times. Unlike most records that abruptly go from one extreme to the other, Dr. Doom have composed their songs to do this gradually. "Spite Bearer" starts out fast, keeping tempo with the predecessor songs and then begins to slow down and leads flawlessly into the epic track "Exiled to the Deserts of Nothingness", this is where the doom influence kicks into overdrive. Encumbered with eerie guitar feed back that trails in and out of the left and right speakers, flanger effects, and a heavy haunting feeling, this song is practically the reverse of the first quarter of the album. The content does pick back up again in "Stock Broker Down" after about the first minute or so, but continues to showcase songs that have an underlying doom influence, especially in "Apollo's Death" which is one of the more stand-out tracks.

In whole, Everyone Is Guilty is an incredible album spilling over with unique content that is pleasing to the ear. The only fallback is the vocal element on the faster material, quality distortion is present within and there isn't much variety or development, just more of the same. However, overlooking that issue, what lies underneath are musicians that know their instruments and have a taste for creating heavy, rare compositions unheard anywhere else but from the one and only Dr. Doom. For those wanting something different and fresh, this band and album are a strong recommendation.

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