The great virtue of the adventurous artiste treating an established sub-genre as a malleable clay to bastardize into innovation is a romantic notion that can lead to great classics and true abomination alike. It all depends upon the hand of the creator and the taste that’d guide their spastic visions. It wasn’t innovation that made that suggested sub-genre ‘whole’ in terms of most heavy metal outlets but rather iteration and steady perfectionism that allowed contrast to shine a light upon concrete norms. Strict adherence to pure notions and exemplar standards might appear regressive or somehow less artistic but the artist that would create within certain guidelines offer the (arguably) best form of musical communication in that they’re using an ancient language to express their own additive personality. Therein lies the instantaneous appeal of brutal Ringsted, Denmark death metal trio Deiquisitor who gift us with their third full-length ‘Towards Our Impending Doom’ just a year and a half after the higher visibility of their second, ‘Downfall of the Apostates’. Expect personal growth, some violent change, but ultimately the same band and ethos observed the year previous.
At some point sitting with ‘Towards Our Impending Doom’ allowed me the breakthrough moment I’d almost reached wallowing in ‘Downfall of the Apostates’ for several months last year in that I should have made some equivalency between their approach and that of Drawn and Quartered‘s early material which was in line with the prior observation of a style meshing ‘Here in After’ with early Deeds of Flesh. On the most basic level possible this helps to understand just how ‘brutal’ the moment to moment aggression of Deiquisitor‘s discography is and has been but, also how tuneful their work manages to be despite feeling entirely iterative since the release of their debut in 2016. This isn’t ‘standard’ death metal but high-consciousness aggression, a living and monstrous mass of deathly spectre, machine-ground bone and flesh. Urgency and attitude are one thing but tasteful guitar tones and carefully tuned drum sounds show a band wary of the follies of amateur production values in the 2000’s that’d define waves of worthless brutal death. Would I still place this band alongside groups such as Nox and Azarath? Yes, both in terms of brutal pace and occasionally catchy riffing but also as a compliment to the power with which they deliver their ideas. This time around it bears some mention to additionally point towards hints of classic Sinister and Dead Congregation as well.
Too often I feel that modern death metal is a conglomeration of imitative aspects where only the most ‘classic’ 90’s ideas are used in creation of a ‘correct’ atmosphere which can forego meaningful songwriting or any original approach to guitar work. What separates the most popular ‘retro’-basement chic acts of today versus fellows like Deiquisitor, Resurgency, and Dead Congregation is an understanding of how death metal evolved as a species in the last two decades without relying on retro gimmicks, blackening, or whatever other stylistic tricks they could employ. It all boils down to not the ‘worship’ of the riff but the mastery of it as a narrative voice within the intensity of death metal theatrics and that obsession relative to the growth each artist discovers within the cruelty of an insular environs. The point here is that I do not hear this Danish band bending to the will of anyone or anything bigger than themselves on ‘Towards Our Impending Doom’; The only gods they might worship are true ones, such as Immolation.
It would be fair to say that I covet this album even slightly more than I did ‘Downfall of the Apostates’ as I’ve purchased the vinyl LP for the cover art and find myself listening to it even when I really should move onto the weekly tasks I’ve assigned myself in what little free time I’d allow. This is a well above passing grade for any piece of music in my book because it has created a motivation beyond the norm to pick up and engage with Deiquisitor beyond most. My recommendation is yet equaled to their previous release because it is, frankly speaking, the same thing only slightly more adventurous in terms of non-blasting sections. A very high recommendation on my part, especially if you are inclined towards the violent spectrum of classic Dutch and New York death metal. For preview purposes I’d say “An Altar to an Alien God” and “Axons of the Cortex” show the most blatant examples of mastery on hand but the closer “Extinction” still blows my mind each time I listen, an absolutely perfect finisher for a brutal record.
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