The Concealers by Daath
Release date : April 2009
Reviewed by Eric Stephens
In late October 2007, it was revealed that vocalist Sean Farber had departed from Daath. In search of a vocalist, vocal-free recordings of “Cosmic Forge”, “Ovum” and “Subterfuge” were made available for download via Roadrunner Records' official website, and an email address was provided where interested applicants could supply relevant details, as well as links to personal renditions uploaded through Youtube. Touring with Dark Funeral and Naglfar at the time, Sean Z. handled the vacant slot in the meantime. By late February 2008, it had been announced that Sean Z. had been appointed as Daath's permanent vocalist.
On March 1st, Daath entered Florida's AudioHammer Studios with producer Jason Suecof (who's worked with such acts as Trivium, and Chimaira) and Mark Lewis (whose credits include working with acts like Trivium, All That Remains, and DevilDriver) to begin recording a third studio album. Midway into the month, Kevin Talley had completed tracking his drum parts. Whilst recording, Daath cut a medley track entitled “Fecal Finger” which incorporates Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, and Dying Fetus (the cut was later made available for free download through MetalSucks.net during mid December). Upon the Morbid Angel section, Job For A Cowboy vocalist Jonny Davy lends guest vocals.
During mid October, a two and a half minute teaser clip regarding The Concealers surfaced. Later that month, the track “Sharpen the Blades” materialized via Youtube, as well as a video tutorial which demonstrated how to perform the song. Airing via Arizona's 98 KUPD radio station, Into the Pit's October 19th show saw guitarist Eyal Levi and Talley join the show's host Marcus Meng to air several tracks from The Concealers. Video footage of Talley laying down drum parts was made available through Roadrunner Records' official website in late November. In late January 2009, The Concealers' European issue was pencilled in for April 20th, whilst its North American issue was slated to occur on April 21st. A deal was struck whereby Roadrunner Records would press the albums, and Century Media would promote the album.
“The Worthless” was made available for streaming via Daath's official MySpace page in early February, whilst a webisode featuring Sean Z. surfaced through Youtube days later. Later that month, The Concealers' track listing and Jorden Haley designed artwork was unveiled. With director Robin Fuller (who's worked with outfits like Ghost of a Thousand, and Shaped By Fate), a music video was filmed for the track “Day of Endless Light” in Daath's hometown in late March. By early April, the number had been made available for streaming through the act's MySpace page.
In all likelihood, Daath's musical stylings don't exactly typify those which emanate from Atlanta, Georgia. Daath, however, will open up the gates for more such artists, and are well upon the way to doing so. The Concealers heightens Extreme Metal towards a new level, incorporating Death, Thrash and Progressive Metal into one package. Primarily, the album's Death Metal facet draws from the mid-range growls of Sean Z., whilst the constant blast beats of drummer Kevin Talley emphasize the full length's Thrash components. Founding member Eyal Levi handles one guitar, whilst Emil Werstler handles the other, both dutifully contributing heavy riffs as well as soaring solos.
The Concealers' inaugural track, “Sharpen the Blades” never really ventures beyond straightforward Thrash Metal pummeling. The only track which mainly retains the same aggressive drum beat, “Sharpen the Blades”' guitar work never becomes fanciful since Daath merely crushes out the very same riffs. “The Worthless”' opening is preceded by slow, wandering guitars, something which is altogether brief since Talley's machine gun beats deviate the track towards a Thrash fury. Harmonic guitar runs as well as flying solos cause a fusion between both Progressive and Thrash upon this specific number, actually defining the tone for the rest of The Concealers' duration.
As The Concealers' conclusion dawns, Daath seems to push its creative limits: the tracks incorporate a new style and range of sounds which veer away from the album's usual strains. “Day of Endless Light” is a commonplace Thrash Metal cut, though jazz guitar materializes near its middle. If there was ever a time where a Tim Burton theme was placed upon an album, then where “Duststorm” leads into “…of Poisoned Sorrows” is that time. A short instrumental, “Duststorm” is a sonically electronic piece featuring the low bass tones of Jeremy Creamer, and that spills into the haunting beginning of “…of Poisoned Sorrows”. With the help of Sean Z.'s very deep vocals, this leads into a Progressive Death Metal eruption.
The sound and style which Daath utilizes upon The Concealers is generally employed by European groups, yet in North America, that template is executed with slight perfection. Despite the fact that Extreme Metal is a broad definition which spans across several subgenres, the label suits Daath since they don't play music which can be filed under one category. A beast, Talley performs constant blast beasts and maintains a rapid tempo, all of which balances well against the heavy guitar riffs and progressive tone. Of 2009, The Concealers might be one of the greatest Metal albums.