Daath – The Deceivers Review

Metal Blade Records

In the 2000’s, metal bands were signing to major record labels as the New Wave of American Heavy Metal movement was in full upswing. One of those labels was Roadrunner Records, which seemed to snatch up-and-coming acts like delectable fruit from a fertile tree.

Daath got signed by them a few years after their debut album, Futility, and they rode high on that with 2007’s The Hinderers and a spot on Ozzfest that year. Their death metal had bits of electro flair that made a song like “Dead On The Dance Floor” stand out.

They stuck around a few more years, through multiple personnel changes and a switching of record labels before essentially fizzling out sometime after 2010’s self-titled record. It seemed we would never hear from them again, a footnote to a movement that had its day two decades ago, but that is not how Daath end their story. Guitarist Eyal Levi, a founding member, and vocalist Sean Zatorsky, who has been behind the mic since 2009’s The Concealers, have reformed the band with a new lineup and a new label in Metal Blade.

The Deceivers is Daath melding their past and present together, with orchestration and programming being key to these nine songs. They’ve used these before, but not in this bold of fashion. Horns blare up and synthesized strings put gravitas into the purposeful death metal. It’s a twist that plays up the technical side of their music, which is something they’ve made relevant strides in over the last 14 years.

Former lead guitarist Emil Werstler’s absence could’ve been a major blow, but new lead guitarist Rafael Trujillo is up to the task of filling that large spot. The number of guitar solos has been upped on The Deceivers, with the band bringing in guest guitarists like Jeff Loomis and Per Nilsson to supplement Trujillo and Levi’s work. “No Rest No End” and “Deserving Of The Grave” are the two tracks to turn to as examples of top-tier instrumentation.

The album maintains a steady quality all around, with the almost seven-minute “The Silent Foray” pushing a progressive agenda with its symphonic elements. Even though this lineup in very fresh, only really coming together over the last year or so, there’s a tightness to the songwriting that is helped by all members having a hand in its creation. Some songs shine more than others, though there isn’t one that’s an immediate skip.

The years away have been good to the band, and now they can introduce themselves to a younger audience who weren’t around during the height of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal. The group from 2007 and the one now may not be the same, but the spirit of their younger selves is still present. The Deceivers is a rock-solid death metal album that has the chance to win over fans across multiple generations.

(released May 3 on Metal Blade Records)

Heavy Music HQ Rating:

Watch Daath – “Ascension” Video


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