Album Review: Oath of Damnation – Fury And Malevolence

Album Review: Oath of Damnation – Fury And Malevolence
Reviewed by Paul Hutchings

Darkness descends on our world as Australian blackened death masters Oath of Damnation return with their second album, ‘Fury and Malevolence’. Six years have passed since debut album ‘The Descent’ was released. Formosus has departed the band, replaced by keyboard player Haemorrh but otherwise Oath of Damnation remain a solid line-up with the core of the band still comprising Doomsayer, Bass/Vocals, Nekromancer on Guitar and drummer Constantinos.

‘Imhullu’ opens the album; a track that leads the listener to a pathway into another world, where titans struggle and spill bloodshed. The drumming is insane, a machine-like cacophony of blast beats and driving riffs, creating a kaleidoscope of blackened death horror. Followed closely by ‘The Abortuary’, it is then the turn of the massive ‘Ardenti Haereticus’, a near eight-minute explosion of evil brutality which immediately grasps the attention. Frequent time changes and moves of pace characterise the Australians pulverising approach. It’s demonic, it’s ravaging, and boy is it punishing.

The title track follows, another massively impressive crafted song, the interplay between the keyboards and the crushing riffing intense. As much as you may wish, there is no let up and ‘To Crack the Earth and ‘Bring Down the Sky’ which follows is as bludgeoning as all that has gone on before it. For many, this will be a wall of noise but for those whose senses are stimulated by such brutality, then this will be mightily enjoyable. Inevitable comparisons with Dimmu Borgir will be drawn, but there are few real comparisons with Shagrath and co. The thick keyboards and the clean vocals on penultimate track ‘In Death’s Domain’ drawn closest to the Norwegians, although the ferocious pace of the scorching guitar work and astonishing blast beats which pour down rival many of their contemporaries. Even as the final track ‘I Curse Thee, O Lord’ explodes, there is no remorse, the relentless driven pace maintained until the final notes.

Crafted over time, Oath of Damnation have begun their march to world domination. It may be a long trip, but there is enough variation on this album for those searching for something new in the blackened death metal to embrace.

Fury and Malevolence is released on 13th March via Gore House Productions

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