It’s been five long years since we’ve heard anything new from everybody’s favorite Jesus-loving death-metal band, but two facts still remain: Impending Doom are still a Christian band, and they’ll still smash your face in.
Impending Doom drop their much-anticipated new album, The Sin And Doom Vol. II, June 22, and it’s as heavy as anything they’ve ever released in their near 15-year career as a band—heavier, even. A lot of crap has gone down in the world since 2013’s Death Will Reign, but as the album proves, Impending Doom combat the negativity with a rock-solid faith foundation and earth-shattering riffs.
The Sin And Doom Vol. II hearkens back to the band’s early days—specifically, their first album, Nailed.Dead.Risen, which is arguably one of the heaviest slabs of Christian death metal ever laid to tape. It was no coincidence the band refrained from working with the higher-profile producers used on their past few albums and reunited with that first album’s producer, Chris Eck, for their latest effort.
“When we started writing these songs, it brought back a nostalgic feeling and a similar sound to how we first started and it felt like the old days,” bassist David Sittig says. “I don’t know how it got brought up, but we started talking about recording with Chris again because he lives in our area, and it was how we started. We wanted the record to sound more raw and not as polished.”
Early on in their career, Impending Doom dubbed their brutal brand of metal “gorship,” a portmanteau of the words “gore” and “worship.” At first glance, Impending Doom’s album artwork isn’t much different from any other death-metal band’s: But a closer listen to the lyrics reveals a band whose worldview differs drastically from most outfits in their chosen genre.
Take the song “The Serpents Tongue.” Vocalist Brook Reeves takes a playful stab at other Satan-praising death-metal lyrics by belching “Satan hates you/Because you’re made in the image of God’s only son.” Though their lyrics are explicitly Christian most of the time, the brutality of their music widens their appeal to believers and nonbelievers, alike.
“We’ve always been a band that rides the line with our imagery and our lyrics and our sound, but we have a huge Christian following, and we have a huge secular following,” Sittig says. “People will tell us all the time, ‘I don’t believe in God, but I love Impending Doom.’ To us, that’s awesome.”
It seems a little unusual for a metal band to still proudly profess their Christian faith, especially when so many once-Christian bands have renounced their beliefs altogether. But for Impending Doom, Sittig swears that will never be the case.
“It’s how our band was founded and it’s what we all still believe, so we’re not going to throw that out the window ever, really.”
As a result of the band members getting married and starting families, Impending Doom haven’t toured much over the past several years, and that’s not going to change anytime soon. “We want to do more than what we have been, but the days of hopping in a van and going across the states for a month,” Sittig says, hose probably will never happen again.”
Even so, be on the lookout for an evening “gorship” near you, because they’ll still be doing one-off shows and festivals here and there.
And for those worried that the five-year delay between albums indicates an impending end for the band, rest assured: There will be more Doom.
“There will be many more,” Sittig says. “We might slow down a bit, but we’re not ever going to go anywhere.”