Damnation - _Rebel Souls_
(Last Epitaph Creations, 1996)
by: Henry Akeley (10 out of 10)
Absolutely killer. Immense, intense, driving death-grind, monumentally powerful and skillfully articulated, its primal energy hammered into an arsenal of distinct and threatening sonic forms, but never dissipated into overdone technicality or squandered in boring descents into sloth. Damnation exudes the monolithic power of titans like Incantation and the weird compositional talent of greats like Morbid Angel - yet their sonic identity is very much their own. Clones they are not. Songs flow like rivers of molten stone, individual sections alternating between crushing slow to mid-paced parts and vertigo-inducing whirlwinds of blasting, sharp percussion backed by jagged, HEAVY riffing. Some riffs are propulsive and guttural; others are patterned around notes that ring out like eerie chimes over stop-start blasting beats. During the faster sections, excellent drum technique pierces the wall of sound, sometimes by rapidly alternating between precision blast beats and neck-snapping, staccato snare drum strikes which keep up the momentum and elevate the rage. Elsewhere, short blast bursts are connected by -ripping-, militant fills. Earthquake, rockfall, cyclone - everything coheres; the songs are not mere piles of parts thrown together, but cohesive totalities packed with moments that send shivers down the spine. I will not even try to capture in words the immensity of the title track... Production is excellent. Great, grim vocals preside over all: no mere gurgling, but a big-chested roar, phrased in a slow and creepy complement to the high-speed instrumental assault. For those who have heard the band's first CD, _Reborn_, this one is a big-time improvement on pretty much every level. _Rebel Souls_. Hell, yeah.

(article published 14/7/1997)


ALBUMS
11/20/2000 A McKay 7 Damnation - Resist
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