Doomed From Day One

Nine Fingers EP

Written by: JWM on 25/09/2013 21:03:58

To me, there is no greater turn off when discovering new music than when artists tag themselves with overly specific genres and tags. It's all scene politics to me, and there's no surprise to what you're about to discover, and generally I feel like the task of categorization is better done by journalists. These are things that I feel already alienate bands before they even have a fanbase and unfortunately you notice it all the time. From the punks and the hardcore bands that tag themselves as 'progressive' to the bands that put even more complicated genres up in their profiles. English quintet Doomed From Day One falls under the same banner as they self-describe themselves as "progressive death metal", attempting to liken themselves to Opeth, Gojira and Meshuggah.

Their progressive attitude is displayed with the instrumental introduction of the title track "Nine Fingers". It is characterized by a mood-gathering acoustic guitar to pave the way for a grand synthesized symphony. The chords of the electronic string quartet are tragic, with a hint of aggression and you feel prepared for something a bit different and textured, but that false promise is flooded over as the aggression of a violin is washed away by the technical, choppy guitar riffs of guitarists Charlie Griffiths and Charlie Frederick that lead on top of the bass-pedal enthused and unconventional drumming from Daniel Ristic.

The EP was produced by Chris Munday at CJM Productions, whose work has helped produce a very professionally polished piece of work. It probably is even one of the stronger traits of the release. The band's vocalist Sean Scott sounds like a fusion between Lamb Of God's Randy Blythe and Gojira's Joe Duplantier. And that fusion is shown on the brutality of "Cut And Hunt" and "At Graves End", particularly on the latter. While the former introduces a guitar led break akin to the "less chaotic" sections of The Dillinger Escape Plan's songs, the latter combines Randy Blythe's throat shredding screams with near constant guitar sweeping, pinch harmonies and a very strong groove metal inspiration. The aggression is then ceased with an ambient break which maintains a noodling guitar in the background; An all too common feature in progressive metal, which later becomes a boringly repetitive constant on this EP. These breaks are also featured on later tracks "The Promise" and "In This Life Not The Next". However, they possess more jazz-fusion guitar rhythms only to slam back into a blast-beat ridden mess. This was something I was afraid of as those characteristics are very generic for 'progressive' death metal and just prove that my doubts about them tagging with such focus were well placed.

With the record's final track "In This Life Not The Next" things get a bit stale. I actually felt the song was quite awkward because while they've attempted to try and write something "epic", in reality you get an unbearably disjointed song where literally everything is happening at once. There is a dynamic shift to a new instrumental passage every 5 to 10 seconds, like a deathcore version of Converge or if you heard the chaotic nightmare that was Orange County band Belay My Last.

Despite the promise Doomed From Day One show as both talented instrumentalists and as a metal vocalist that can potentially become very good (6 more years down the line I guarantee he'll try his hand a clean singing), I feel like that disjointed song-writing is one of the two things that keep Doomed From Day One down. The other is that although they use all the diverse elements such as jazz-fusion rhythms, classical symphonies, ambiance and acoustics in their style, they don't truly understand how to fuse those ideas. It feels like they just push the non-metallic elements into the corners of the songs to make themselves seem diverse but in reality it sounds very uninspired and generic. If this bands wants to be truly "progressive" they should make those elements more integrated and in turn feel more organic. At this moment in time however, this is just glorified technical deathcore.

Download: Nine Fingers; At Graves End
For The Fans Of: Gojira; Belay My Last; As Blood Runs Black
Listen: Doomed From Day One's facebook

Release Date: 21.10.2013
Ghost Music

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