|Slam Death Metal
Blood Harvest Records, Deathgasm Records (2010)
2007 / 2010
Release length: 54:16
The production quality to Allegiance to the Will of Damnation is not bad, but it clearly is a raw production. The instrument’s volume levels seem really low compared to what they should be due to this quality, but in a sense it works out. The guitars may be a little lower then usual, but this allows the bass to be heard without any problem and shine through. The drumming is good too, but the bass kicks sound a little muffled and could have been a little clearer and had a slight click to them, nothing too loud or fancy, as that would be overkill. However, the double bass kicks wind up being practically lost in the mix during the faster paced moments of the album, such as when the music picks up during “Enthroned in Blasphemous Triumph”.
While the music to Allegiance to the Will of Damnation is not bad and, for the most part, is a slower moving Death Metal album that comes down on you hard with some faster moments in the guitars, there’s no denying that there are elements here that are simply boring to listen to. First of all before the music kicks in, you have to sit through just under one minute of an introductory sound clip taken from a movie of a demon speaking about himself and where he came from with backwards speech behind it. After that, the music on the title track, “Allegiance to the Will of Damnation” finally kicks in, and it’s really nothing too spectacular at first listen, especially when the music slows down about two thirds of the way through the song and becomes what would be called today a lazy Deathcore breakdown, chugging along for no point whatever to slow the pace of the track and ultimately tack time on when it is simply not needed. If that slower aspect of the song were omitted, as well as the others in this song that hit before it, and the vocal outro that sounds like an echoing belch and not even a word, then the title track would be great, as well as the rest of the songs on this EP since this track basically sets up what to expect on every other song.
Another aspect that could have been worked on a bit would be the vocals. While this style does suit the music as far as the bass goes, there are just times, such as during the slow paced Doom sections that serve no purpose on this EP at all sometimes, where the vocals just sound like there is no emphasis to them whatsoever and come off quite often feeling simply uninspired, and at times low enough that they get drowned out by the music. This could be easily found during the song “Prayer of Satanic Hate”. When the music picks up, it simply sounds like low, muffled gutteral that one would commonly associate with Brutal Death Metal, which really just helps the faster-paced music sound more heavier and more intimidating in the long run. On your first listen, chances are you won’t appreciate this style for what it is, but the more emphasized vocal aspects of this release will grow on you and become quite enjoyable, though there seems to be no saving some of the lower versions that sound weak in comparison and really can’t drive the chugging breakdown aspects of the songs.
But, in the end, there’s still some good aspects to this release. While “Allegiance to the Will of Damnation” and “Prayer of Satanic Hate” seem to suffer from the band trying to really push the slower slam aspects into simply boring, talentless breakdowns, there’s still a few tracks that, luckily, don’t quite suffer the same overkill fate. “Curse His Name” doesn’t quite go too far into that realm and winds up having a good blend of slower aspects with fast paced music and some impressive drumming that seems to mix things up a good amount during song. And then there’s “Crusade Towards Unholy Deliverance”, as well as “Enthroned in Blasphemous Triumph”, which are just a fantastic Death Metal song that really thrives off the raw production through solid guitar work that carries through the song at a steady pace.
The 2010 reissue through Deathgasm Records features the two bonus tracks from the previous 2008 reissue by Die Todesrune Records, though it doesn’t include the live video footage. Either way “Of Unholy Blood” and “To Walk the Path of Unrighteousness” are great songs, both of which have a higher production quality that actually works in favor of the band, especially with the vocals since it causes them to sound like there’s more of an effort behind them, and the bass drums have that little extra kick to it as well. These two bonus tracks are essentially night and day compared to the main five Allegiance to the Will of Damnation tracks as far as the production quality goes. Aside that, you also have the entire Summoning of Infernal Hordes demo recording on here, which actually sounds much better then the main EP these tracks are used on. While the demo tracks lack the overall weight that re-recorded versions for this EP have, they are audible, the vocals work so much better for them, the slower aspects flow naturally with the music and sound so much better, and really makes you wish that the band had just issued this demo recording as the actual EP instead of going back into the studio. The only problem with these tracks would be the bass recordings, but what do you expect from a cheap self recorded demo that was used to get into a studio to record these songs properly?
In the end, this reissue is well worth the money if you already own the EP, as the bonus material is just so much better then a good chunk of the original material released on Allegiance to the Will of Damnation. Either way, while there’s a good deal of slower sections that feel tacked on and really ruin the flow of the first three songs of this release, the rest of the tracks from the original release, and the bonus tracks really do make up for things and bring a very impressive release forward for the band, as well as show the musical differences between the demo material and the actual studio recordings.
01. Allegiance to the Will of Damnation – 5:14
02. Curse His Name – 5:07
03. Prayer of Satanic Hate – 4:58
04. Crusade Towards Unholy Deliverance – 5:58
05. Enthroned in Blasphemous Triumph – 4:38
06. Of Unholy Blood (Bonus Track) – 3:16
07. To Walk the Path of Unrighteousness (Bonus Track) – 3:23
08. Crusade Towards Unholy Deliverance (Bonus Track) – 6:07
09. Allegiance to the Will of Damnation (Bonus Track) – 5:38
10. Curse His Name (Bonus Track) – 5:06
11. Prayer of Satanic Hate – 4:54
|Initial Score: 6/10
2010 Reissue Score: 6.5/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Deathgasm Records via Clawhammer PR.