July 11th marks the emergence of the debut album, Doppleganger, from Spanish evildoers, Totengott. A trio of road warriors who have individually paid their dues before coming together in 2014. Totengott is now set to unleash their own ode to darkness and desolation.
Doppleganger, while on the surface may seem like a light listen with only three tracks, is more than meets the eye. The shortest track is over eight minutes long, an investment of time is required once you hit play . The issue with Doppleganger is that when an album has tracks that are this long, the songs need to enthrall the listener, make them anticipate what comes next to justify the length. TesseracT is a great example, 14 minute+ songs are expected; the way their songs are constructed makes the melodies sound like varying chapters, the opening and closing riffs acting as opening and closing credits in a movie. So the 14 minutes is necessary because the track tells a story.
With Doppleganger, they are just really long ass songs. For example, the title track “Doppleganger” comes in at a whopping 21.5 minutes and for this track the length is unnecessary. You get the point of the song in about 5 minutes, if you exclude the opening intro. Things pick up again around the 15-17 minute mark but there is no reason the track couldn’t be more around 8 minutes long and ‘standard formatting‘. There is nothing in the track’s composition that builds or layers that warrants the extra 13.5 minutes, on the contrary at times the tempo is aggravatingly slow despite having good riffs over it (that arguably would be much better if they were played at a faster tempo). At times it’s like listening to a really sick uptempo black metal band recorded in slow motion. The best track on Doppleganger, “Delusion of Negation”, also fell victim to the gratuitous ranginess. Chop the slow intro and outro off and you’re left with about 5-6 minutes of intense and all around bad ass metal; instead it is the aforementioned 5-6 minutes of intense and all around bad ass metal with over 10 minutes of unnecessary filler.
Doppleganger has everything expected from a hardcore metal album; heavy riffs, cannon-fire drums, pissed off vocals, and gloomy lyrics….all of the i’s are dotted and t’s crossed. Which is good and bad; for fans of this metal sub-genre all of the components of a killer hardcore album are there, but they will have to listen to about 30 minutes of noise within those same three tracks to find those moments. Totengott as a band is clearly talented and together they craft some engaging metal moments, unfortunately those moments are hidden in mountains of packing peanuts. Long story short, Totengott has what it takes but they have to learn trim the fat and leave listeners with that only that Grade A beef.
1. Delusion of Negation
2. Satan Beside You
Chou Saavedra – guitar/vocals
Nacho Void – bass
José Mora – drums
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Bloodrock Media Rating: 2.0 out of 5.0 axes
Written by Ken Kaizer for Bloodrock Media on June 13, 2017