• Axl Rosenberg


Dååth’s The Concealers opens quickly and without mercy: a four-count from drummer Kevin Talley, and we’re off to the races. And you know within seconds: this band has come a long way from 2007’s The Hinderers.

Look. The Hinderers is by no means a bad record. And maybe it just never stood a chance of living up to the bizarrely ill-fitting hype that surrounded its release (The next great death metal discovery from Monte Connor! Jewish mysticism! James Murphy!). But The Concealers sounds like a band that has discovered its sound; it’s lean and it’s focused and it’s just plain old good metal, drawing influences from several key touchstones but not beholden to any particular trends.

Seriously: everything has now coalesced for Dååth in a really fantastic way. The songwriting is heavy and the band switches effortlessly between windpipe-smashing fast and beg-for-mercy slow, and the music is complexly constructed enough to reward multiple listens, which is good, because the riffs are so catchy you’re pretty much gonna have no choice but to give it repeat listens. The musicianship is top notch – seriously, each and every member of this band can play the ever-lovin’ shit out of his instrument – but it’s never proggy at the expense of the song. And the best songs – tracks like “Translucent Potency,” “Sharpen the Blades,” and “The Unbinding Truth,” with its ouroboric guitars and sci-fi soundscapes – will get stuck in your head, no doubt. “Wilting on the Vine,” a somewhat more melodic tune featuring an absolutely epic guitar solo, an infectious horror movie riff and the vocal line to match, became kind of a problem for me. Because I have shit to do, y’know? I had to quit it like Ennis quit Jack.

I don’t wanna single any member of the band out – this feels like a true ensemble. Listen with a good pair of headphones – everyone is playing different parts and it all fits together like one big puzzle to make a killer record. Dååth is like Voltron: most powerful as one big team. But that’s something else that’s a big change for this band: everyone gets his moment in the spotlight, and everyone does something cool with it. But I can’t imagine anyone not flipping out over the playing on this album. It’s just top notch.

And to their credit, producing/mixing team Jason Suecof and Mark Lewis handle the music just right – the album sounds layered (like I said, it rewards multiple listens), but never overproduced. In fact, I can’t remember the last time a Suecof/Lewis joint sounded this raw. Like a fucking bloody rare steak-slap to the face.

It would be a shame if The Concealers got lost amongst all the high-profile releases of other American New Wavers this year. I know that after The Hinderers, I wasn’t exactly counting down the days to a new Dååth album – but I know that now I’m certainly counting the days to their next release. Dååth have now officially taken off for the stratosphere. Strap in, motherfuckers, it’s gonna be a helluva ride.

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(four out of five horns)


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