Released: , Self-released
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
VIOLENCE WILL DOMINATE Rating: 3.5/5
LEFT TO PERISH Rating 4/5
Our western neighbors, the Swedes, never stop impressing me with their absolutely beautiful women, and especially the massive amount of exceptionally good and talented Metal bands spawning from all sub-genres of Metal. One of my most recent discoveries from the depths of the vast Swedish underground Metal scene is this 5-piece Thrash Metal act working under Oppression –moniker (there was once a Finnish Thrash Metal band by the same name in the late eighties/ early nineties). These relentless Swedish thrashers swear heavily in the name of old school Thrash Metal, and if I was ever forced to pick two names in comparison to them musically, then Dark Angel and Bloodfeast would undoubtedly be those two names, especially Dark Angel.
On their debut 4-track offering, VIOLENCE WILL DOMINATE, the whole band has obviously done their very best in order to reach the same intense and twisted atmosphere musically that has been captured to Dark Angel´s classic DARKNESS DESCENDS album. Tor´s and Joachim´s guitar tones are actually very similar to what was on DARKNESS DESCENDS. Otherwise, it all sounds like the guitars is not the only thing in common with DARKNESS DESCENDS, but also the songs quite shamelessly tend to imitate structurally the Dark Angel songs on DARKNESS DESCENDS. So talk me about somewhat impressive copycatting here... ;)
As for some other ´constructive criticism´, I think Nicklas´ vocals unfortunately lack some power and a bit uninspiring vocal delivery. It´s probably a bit too monotonous for my picky taste even if I must admit it´s still far from ruining the overall ´true Thrash –values´ of this very promising 4-track demo. Despite this minor, tiny flaw, VIOLENCE WILL DOMINATE is definitely one of the better debut demos I have managed to get a hold of during the past 2-3 years. Not a bad start for them by any means...
A year later, the band entered a studio again, and 5 new songs were recorded. This demo was baptized by a title LEFT TO PERISH and Oppression had taken a serious leap away from the most obvious sound of the Dark Angel –realm, only this time adopting something into their new songs that could be pointed toward KILL FOR PLEASURE album´s direction (you all remember Bloodfeast, don´t you?) with a right amount of justification in the top of my fingertip. I think we need partly thank Fredrik´s bass parts that bring that special ´Bloodfeast -effect´ up on LEFT TO PERISH. The bass is actually very high on the mix and you are able to hear almost every single note Fredrik plays in the songs on L.T.P. Also the band´s dynamic 6-stringer duo has adopted a style that has hints from the Bloodfeast –camp´s thrashy territory here and there - added with some intensity that was familiarized by Sadus for all of us old school thrashers once. Also, this time the band´s vocalist Nicklas should be credited by a sign of an old school thrasher´s horns as he has truly shown a clear improvement vocally, having this crispier and definitely a more Thrash –orientated grip stuck in his very pleasing vocal outbursts. At times he even manages to reach very Araya-like high screams with his vocals, and I always respond to those particular screams with the widest broad grin being cauterized in my face.
LEFT TO PERISH a ferocious and high-octane package of old school Thrash Metal that has a real serious attempt to slice your balls to little pieces and make a pot of jelly out of your pulverized brains. At least you have been warned...
T.P.A.S., the title of band´s latest demo that was recorded recently, in March 2005 to be exact, brings Oppression from the Bloodfeast/Sadus –flavored thrashing metallic mayhem back to DARKNESS DESCENDS –era Dark Angel once again. The whole band has matured immensely both as individual song writers as well as a tightly playing Thrash Metal combo - and this all can be heard and witnessed through their songs on T.P.A.S. The three songs that they have featured for this recording, pay in fact pretty much tribute to early Dark Angel just like I mentioned already. Even Nicklas has done his best Don Doty vocal rip-off imitation in the songs and I feel like the band has truly outdone themselves on the demo this time around, proving to be in a good striking form when entering the Ljundfadern studio. If songs like “T.P.A.S." and “Act of Faith" aren´t pure Dark Angel –worshipping, then show me what is.
Sure, playing ´old school Thrash Metal´ seems to have become sort of a fashion thing nowadays, but listening to this relatively unknown Swedish Thrash -grenade Oppression makes you think they are real and totally serious about it - and not just because it´s ´cool´ or ´trendy´ to play it. The future is always hard to predict, but I can sincerely assure you that we all will undoubtedly hear much more from these guys if they just can maintain the same high level with their forthcoming stuff in the future. Wanna try to bet with me for that...? ;=)