Released: 2007, Roadrunner Records
Reviewer: J. Campbell
It’s hard to be diplomatic when analyzing a record that sucks this badly.
Released to the public after nearly drowning in a comical level of hype, Daath’s major label debut promised far more than it actually delivers. My hopes were high for THE HINDRERERS, due to guitarist Eyal Levi’s working relationship with Arsis; and with James Murphy, Colin Richardson, and Andy Sneap involved in the recording process, this album seemed destined to at least be listenable. And, I suppose it will be, for some people. If you’re the kind of person who thinks Chimaira “totally rocks”, but secretly wish that they would incorporate more dance music elements, you’re in luck. THE HINDERERS will knock your wallet chain off.
Advertising this band as “death metal”, is not only inaccurate, it’s downright offensive. Sean Farber’s monotone snarl is the only thing that could possibly qualify it, but there’s absolutely no passion in his delivery. And his vocals are everywhere, like the manic fly that sits on your beer can until you go for bite of your burger—and then buzzes over and lands on your bun. His incessant, hollow rasp is even more annoying than that damn bug, and has less redeeming value in the grand scheme of things.
So if this isn’t the DM that was advertised, what the hell is it? This is riff-less, groovy half-thrash that has been coated with an impenetrable commercial-grade gloss. This is Arsis-for-Dummies. This is Dark Tranquillity for Static-X fans. This is death metal for people who have no clue who either of those bands are.
Keep in mind, these guys attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston. But they apparently majored in Heavy Metal Faux Pas. They apply this skill liberally in songs like “Who Will Take The Blame” and “Dead On The Dance Floor” by tacking on electronica parts that sound like they were culled from crappy N64-era first person shooters. My girlfriend, who isn’t a metal fan (or a musical neophyte), heard me listening to this from the other room. She actually said “That sounds like a cross between Hillary Duff and Gwen Stefani with some dude barking over it.” No bullshit.
Still reading? Okay then, I almost forgot… drummer-for-hire Kevin Talley provides some generic kicks and grooves on this record, but he goes largely unnoticed. Just thought I’d mention his name, because apparently everything he does is newsworthy somehow, and I hadn’t brought it up yet.
Ultimately THE HINDERERS doesn’t fail because of poor musicianship, or lack of earnestness. It fails because it is tepid, banal, and mind-numbingly boring, all while parading itself under the guise of importance. Keyboardist Mike Kameron claims that there is a complex meaning behind Daath’s existence, based on psychological exploration involving the ‘Tree of Life’. Personally, I picked up on this instantly after listening to “Dead on the Dance Floor” for the first time. If you want other people to actually give a shit about this “concept”, Mike, tell your bandmates to bring some killer riffs and memorable melodies to the table.
Then we can get philosophical.