REVIEW: Doomsdaykult - "The Complete DDK"

By Marcus Pan

Chain Border

The Complete DDKHumility combined with perseverance can be a wonderful combination. Many say that I myself promote this attitude for my own works here at Legends and other places. And I for one know how strange it can be to go to a club or show up at a concert or other event only to find oneself nearly mobbed by people who know of you and your work. It's weird - you laugh it off. You say, "Oh, it's just a small hobby thing," and you try and make your way to the counter for a Corona when someone hands you one. They even know your brand, hah.

But this is not a review about me. If it was I'd just make fun of myself anyway. This is a review about another guy further south of me, down in Florida, and the sweat and blood that went into his creation - solo project Doomsdaykult. Bob's tried a whole lot of times, picking up his first Fender Telecaster (and I'm sorry, but I can't say or write that without following it up with, "And the guitar bled for about a week afterward…" - 10 points for whoever tells me where that's from) in his youth, getting bored and putting it down and finding his interest in it peak again a few years later. Following the suicide of his younger brother Chris, guitarist for Florida's Acid Mary grunge outfit prior, Bob is determined to "keep the music coming out of that old Fender Strat alive and well. I plug it in I fell as if he is beside me, laughing at my mistakes…"

Attempted bands that fell through due to infighting, lack of interest and other like problems, Bob has determined to continue on his own with the likes of Doomsdaykult. A testament to his wonderful humility is found in his handwritten letter to me which states, "I'm not the greatest musician, but I try like hell." And he's right - he's not the greatest musician. But I'll tell you one thing, he's in the top ranks I've heard lately. And now that we've exhausted a brief history of Doomsdaykult, it's time to talk aboutThe Complete DDK. I felt the history was important - experience is a powerful influence of music, and the more you have the more wisdom is going to be infused into it. That's why I blathered about it - but you can skip to this part for the music review portion. Bet you wish I said that three paragraphs ago, eh?

A two-disk set, The Complete DDK is a very interesting work. In my notes as I listened to it over the past few weeks (and yes, I do actually take notes on things that pop into my head as I spin CDs, mostly because I'm anal fucking retentive) the best descriptive terms I've found in them was, "DDK combines the harsher beats of EBM with the smoother melodies of trance." What is most truly enjoyable about the CD is that, and seemingly by accident, Bob's track listing seems to sink deeper into a moodier darkness as the CD spins. All tracks stand on their own, but as you reach the second CD area of the disk it gets blacker in melodies, occasional vocals and more subtle rhythms. It's almost like an accidental journey.

Fully independently produced by Rivit Head Records and distributed by Nepenthacea, The Complete DDK holds eighteen tracks. The separate CDs included here are Dark Days Ahead which encompasses tracks 1-8, and Product of My Environment, which encompasses 9-18. Short breaks occur between the CD switch and then at the end. And I really found Bulldyke Bar, the closer of The Complete DDK, to be quite fun. As you come out of the techno hissing rhythms of The Pinhead Mix followed by the moody beats of Torn Apart, Bulldyke Bar is a jolt back to a place a bit less morbid. A nice ending. Strange, weird and wacky ending - but a nice way to end it nonetheless.

Favorites of the album include the Kraftwerkian Computer Nightmare, even if the computer-speech repetition goes on a slight longer than necessary. Some songs, like Rave It Up, could have definitely been longer. Acid Jam could have been as well, even though it clocks out at 4:24 - it just had a great rhythm and sound to it with techno wrap-arounds and heavy beats. I love the bubble-like percussion used there as well. But other than some tracks not giving you "enough" at times, the music shown here on The Complete DDK is well arranged and shows great possibilities if DDK could secure more funding and support for further work.

Great rhythm loops from music experience over the years, a moody and dark atmosphere from the hardships and troubles faced and a desire to continue recording regardless of the outcome. DDK brings us in this two disc set a great trance/EBM additive to my collection and yours, if you care to listen to my opinion. Tempering talent with humility and hardship with perseverance, Bob Melendez has finally found a project to continue with. And this time there's no other band members to bitch, moan and get bored with it, so keep going. Chris is smiling on you.

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