Originally formed way back in 1983, Damien Thorne would release a four song demo cassette the following year followed by the release of their debut full length \”The Sign Of The Jackal\” through RoadRunner Records in 1986. This would be the last record the band put out in the eighties as they would part ways and go on an extended indefinite hiatus until reforming in the late nineties with a four song EP. The band has been back on track ever since that time and END OF THE GAME marks the third full length the band has issued in the last decade.
The Sabbath worshipping doom metal of \”The Clincher\” greets the listener with abrasive sludgy riffing, a thumping rhythm section and the howling and at times bluesy vocal delivery of vocalist Martin DeBourge who has quite a range, I might add. \”Face Reality\” opens with a barrage of melodic lead guitar atop ten ton licks of steel before quickly kicking into the kind of speed metal assault Damien Thorne is best known for. This kind of material could have easily been released on an old Metal Blade records sampler in the mid eighties and I would have been none the wiser and I mean that as a compliment. It\’s important to note that \”Me Against The World\” is not a cover tune of the Lizzy Borden classic of the same name, instead you can expect another hard rocking speed metal tune similar in feel to Iron Maiden\’s \”Be Quick Or Be Dead\” with a driving bass line that should find you raising your glass and banging your head.
\”You\’ll Come Around\” feels like classic mid-tempo seventies metal performed with bar band swagger and aggression. Loose, loud and driving this track has the potential to be a real crowd pleaser in the live setting. \”Indulgence\” picks up the pace with dirty speed metal riffs caked in grime alongside a bass heavy rhythm section. Vocalist Martin DeBourge goes from guttural growling to over the top multi-octave wailing convincingly and as called for and really shines as a singer on this tune. \”Tarantula\” is an instrumental track and it\’s easy to see why with it\’s many tempo shifts and progressive musical direction. At times it seems like it would fit well on a B horror movie soundtrack as it has a ghoulish feel to it\’s anxious delivery. Musically the title track on END OF THE GAME is crunchy with a steady backbeat, lyrically it\’s vengeful and venomous. Definitely a statement by the band that they mean business and have come to kick your ass.
\”Psychosis\” is traditional metal bliss as devilish riffs and haunting and powerful vocals collide head first in heavily percussive damnation and hellfire. END OF THE GAME comes to an end with \”Escape Or Die 2012\” a remake of \”Escape Or Die\” from the debut full length \”The Sign Of The Jackal\”. This version is downtuned yet retains the tempo of the original and is pretty close in feel. A nice bonus on an already killer disc.
I\’m really impressed with this latest disc from Damien Thorne. I\’m glad to see the band still at it and unlike many of their contemporaries who return from an extended hiatus and put out records with too much modern influence, you can count on Damien Thorne to dish out the old school sound just the way we like it. Good production, excellent musicianship, the only real beef I have is that the booklet isn\’t big on lyrics, pictures or liner notes but hopefully a label will pick up this release and salvage things in that regard. What are you waiting for? If you like old school heavy metal pick this disc up!
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