Impending Doom is one of the few bands that came from Facedown Records that I still enjoy; the band has always done a fantastic job bringing their own brand of heavy music, while sticking true to their lyrical roots. This is a band that has seen their ups and downs, as they've toured with some of the biggest names in the genres, but also going through a few member changes. Their brand new album, "Baptized In Filth" is out now on E1 Recordings -- their finest release to date.
I had the pleasure of speaking with vocalist Brook Reeves on the phone and catching up with what's going on in the band. The band will be on the first three weeks of this year's Warped Tour, so be sure and check out their set.
First off, how's the Metal Alliance tour been going so far?
It's been really well. I thought we were actually going to get demolished, but people are responding really well. I thought our set time was going to be a problem since we're on pretty early, but all the venues are doing a great job getting everyone in real quick, so things have been great.
Impending Doom has about 20 minutes then, right?
Yeah, we have 25 minutes, so it goes by pretty quick.
What's your personal favorite song to play during this tour?
One of our new songs, it's called "Murderer".
You guys just put out your fourth full length record, "Baptized In Filth"; what's the meaning behind the album title?
Well, as a Christian you get baptized, and it's symbolic to show people you're a new person. So the idea of "Baptized In Filth" is people that want to stay in their sin, or openly hate God, or are just overall wolves in sheep's clothing -- people like the "I hate ****" type of Christians, you know? It's about confronting these people and asking "what's your deal?". In my opinion, if you're going to go against God, there are going to be consequences; basically you love your sin so much that you want to be in it.
How's the general reaction to the album been?
It's been pretty good, a way better reaction to our last album for sure. I've heard some good things, and not so good things from people; but from people that would buy our album, it's been pretty good.
What sort of objections have you had from critics?
Not enough shred...not enough guitar work, probably some vocal stuff too. We wanted a groovier album, so that's why the album sound the way it sounds.
What are some things about the album that people wouldn't normally know on their own?
Well, it's a Christian album; some people don't know that. We have a shirt that contains the lyrics "Take the number you've chosen, 666 and one with the fallen". And people think it's a Satan promoting shirt, because they're really into Satan. As long as people know we're a Christian band, and we're for Jesus...
You mentioned last time we talked in the summer that you wanted to make a darker and heavier album, compared to your last release, "There Will Be Violence". You worked with producer Andreas Magnuson, who had worked with bands such as Haste The Day and Down To Nothing. What was working with him like?
I didn't work with him too much, he worked mainly with the guitars and drums. He helped out the record a lot though, he's a very quiet guy. He put his input in where he thought it was needed, and he definitely helped us out. He made the record sound a lot better than when it was brought to him.
I'd describe this record as your "biggest" sounding record so far. Would you agree with that?
Yeah, that's what we really wanted; it's our fourth record, and if you don't have a big set of records, then you've got nothing. Go big or go home, you know? It's a little too late in the game to put out the same records over and over.
Yeah, it's certainly been awhile since your first record came out...
Yeah, it's blown my mind with how fast time has gone...I still feel like we're some hyped up band, it doesn't feel like it's been 7 or 8 years, you know?
What other goals did you guys have going into the writing and recording progress other than making it heavier and darker?
Making a point; with me lyrically and especially in this genre, if i'm going to be doing this, I need to say something. There's so many people and bands that hate God, and this is an album that's a reply to that. I want to be bold, and offend people in a good way. It's funny being a Christian band in this scene, because you have these bands that try to offend people with their lyrics or shirts, or whatever; but i'll say "Jesus Christ is Lord" and people freak out...and I think it's the funniest thing in the world.
Remember that time where you filled in on vocals for Vincent [Bennett] from The Acacia Strain on that Bleeding Through headliner? Would you do that again if you were presented with the opportunity?
Hell no! Well...let me take that back real quick. If he honestly needed it, I would do it because he's a good friend of mine. I don't know all of his lyrics, but I know some of the most popular ones, because those are the ones that everyone knows. It's funny because we played The White Rabbit in Texas, and we're on the way there, and Vincent texts me and asks "How many Acacia Strain songs do you know?" and i'm like "A couple...why do you ask?" and he goes "I can't talk at all", and so I had to do his set for a week. What's even funnier is that I got the same text on the way to the White Rabbit 3 years prior from Phil [Bozeman] from Whitechapel...so I had to do their set for awhile too.
The White Rabbit is definitely one of those venues where you don't want to make a debut on...
Yeah, it's a great venue that always packs out. In Houston, Vincent came out on stage with me and he couldn't say anything, but he wanted to try to convey that "hey, I can't talk", and some kid threw a water bottle at me, but the wind curved it...and hit Vincent in the face -- he was so pissed! That show was so bad, because there's a huge barrier and I didn't know a ton of lyrics, and they played 11 songs; and I was like "hey, can you cut your set a little bit?" and they're like "quit being a wussy, you can do it"...they're funny guys like that.
The first music video from Baptized In Filth is for the track "Murderer". What made you decide to shoot a video for it, and what's the background behind the song lyrically?
We shot the video because it's more of a diverse song that anyone can get into it; it has a chorus, a bridge...enough to make people that listens to our music happy. The meaning behind the song comes from an Atheistic standpoint that's seeing this world in chaos and hurt and realizing that we're evil and selfish people, and this person is reaching out to God for help, because he realizes that his sin drove Jesus to the cross.
I think if I had to pick out a favorite from the album, it's near the end of the album, "My Light Unseen"; it features Ryan Clark from Demon Hunter. I haven't heard a song like this from him since Demon Hunter's album "Storm The Gates of Hell", that came out around 2008. How did he become involved with this song?
We originally were going to have Tommy Green from Sleeping Giant hop on this track, but he wasn't open to do it at the time. We love Ryan's voice, he has that dark and depressing mellow tone, which is the song we wrote; he fit that song so well, I couldn't think of a better singer to do it, looking back.
I know he's extremely selective with how he works with people; how did you end up getting him for the track?
We needed a singer to do this track, or else it was going to be an instrumental. We asked him if he'd like to sing on the track, and he agreed, and he flat out went to town on it; he did it in two days. I haven't really seen him before, except at festivals and stuff; he has a mean mug! I appreciate how he came in and did the track, without having to be boys with us, you know? I can't give that guy enough props for helping us out.
That being said, can you see Impending Doom touring with a band like Demon Hunter in the future?
I'd love to do a tour with Demon Hunter! We do tours like the Metal Alliance tour way too much, you know?
...where it's more of a straight across the board Christian tour? or more like a mixed bill?
Yeah, we never do an across the board Christian tour, but we've never been used to having another Christian band on the tour for too long. It's nice touring with the people we've toured with, but it'd also be great to hang out with people that believe the same thing as you do.
Speaking of across the board Christian tours, are you on Scream The Prayer this summer?
No, we're not.
What is one book and one band you'd recommend to anyone that listens to Impending Doom and why?
Well, one book i'm reading is called The Truth War by John McArthur, and it's a sick book. It's about the different doctrines of Christianity, and the ideas of false teachers; the idea of men using Jesus name for their own agendas and manipulate the Church and God's word. It's a really cool book, because in our album, there's a song "Deceiver" that addresses this subject. I like this type of pissed off, in your face book -- a fire and brimstone type of book; I tend to get off track if i'm not reminded of that often.
As for a couple of bands, I suggest Hillsong and Ascend The Hill. Ascend The Hill has this album Hymns, and it's so freaking good man.
Wrapping up, is there anything else that you'd like to add? Where can we get ahold of you online?
I'm not online; I have a twitter (@Brookdoom) but I don't really use it. The band account is the best way to get ahold of me (@Impending_Doom). Be sure and check out our new album if you haven't.