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Swedish melodic death metal such as At the Gates undeniably had a profound effect on Ohio quintet Brother Von Doom judging by their 10-track release RELENTLESS. Properly titling this debut effort, there's no question this squad maintains a firm grip on producing technically sound songs completed by an ample array of blistering riffs and pounding drums ("Blood on the Betrayer", "Judas Kiss") at a frantic pace, truly leaving no room to catch a breath ("Eater of Days", "Norse Demise"). What they gain in firepower though this unit loses in lack of variation and originality, as midway through the album everything (especially the skilled yet exchangeable guitars) starts to sound a bit similar to many of its peers, even though it maintains its ravagingly brutal delivery. A few composition tweaks and some time spent on the road however and Brother Von Doom may be able to shed that skin, but for now this band's debut provides a solid listening experience that would appeal mainly to those unscathed by melodeath's rampant oversaturation.
- Mike SOS