Reviewed: May 2020
Released: 2020, High Roller Records
Reviewer: Pete Mutant
Commando have been about for a few years now, having previously released their first demo back in 2018 titled ‘Demo 2018’. Fast forward to now and the young Swedish group that hails from Arvika have produced their first EP in ‘Rites of Damnation’, six songs and just under 25 minutes of music.
Hailing from a part of the world renowned for its metal music, Commando have to come out guns blazing from the off and make a statement of intent. With ‘Rites of Damnation’ Commando certainly demonstrate that they have quite the arsenal of weaponry to draw from. They have come out with some really potent heavy metal here. Echoing some giants of the past with Mercyful Fate and Sweden’s own Enforcer being some of the bands that have influenced them as well as many others.
You do hear it but Commando have their own sound which blends a lot of the classics with a wide variety of styles from other subgenres making it an interesting piece of music. From the start we get some rapid fire chugging on the guitar before things open up and take a darker more melodic turn. The riffs really can change the dynamic of the songs and Commando are not scared to implement some hard hitting riffs throughout the music. The music is very guitar-centric, which is one of the major gripping qualities of their sound. The drumming is no nonsense and the vocals are a little one dimensional but it all gels well together and there’s a consistency to the sound which makes for a strong personality for the band.
They’re a very musically adept band and have a wide range of abilities and ideas present throughout the songs. The longest track, ‘Djaevulsmaskopi’, is a fine example of a purely instrumental number which demonstrates the band’s guile and knack for changing things up. The last track, ‘Burn The Sky’ is also quite the dynamic track which incorporates more layers and depth and must have been a fun track for Robin who is doing an audioenginering course.
Overall there’s a lot to like with ‘Rites of Damnation’ and it serves as a great introduction to the band. They’ve been working on these tracks for the last 2-3 years so we might have to wait a bit before we see some more new material but perhaps this lockdown will spur the band onto get writing some more material. At least we have some good tunes to get us through this disease-ridden epoch. Just need to get ourselves some gigs and we’re laughing.