"Destructo Evangelia" (Candlelight USA/Threeman; 2004)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Just the look of Damnation's "Destructo Evangelia" screams old-school black metal replete with muddy production and intelligible lyrics. The sparse layout, black and white color scheme, the upside-down crosses, and the bandmember's alter-egos all evoke the style of the black metal originators. Even the photograph of the band on the artwork reminds me of the first picture of Mayhem faces hidden by long-hair, obscured by hands/implements of violence, or the individuals have otherwise turned away from the camera. A band member actually shares his name with one of the titles of the songs so the silly, cheesy elements of black metal is there in obvious ways as well.

Anyway, let's move forward by discussing the music, shall we? Aside from the odd cassette demo and 7" singles "Destructo Evangelia" is Damnation's first full-length release. The music actually caught me by surprise as I was fully expecting low-budget, piss-poor production not to mention less than stellar technical delivery. Although the music is stereotypical frill-free primitive black metal the production isn't so awful as to detract from the overall delivery. The music is well played and competently executed. Additionally, the decent musical presentation (suppressed but not muddy, raw but still discernible) contrasts nicely with the my original pre-conceived image of Damnation being Darkthrone clones.

Not quite expected is the fact that Damnation are from Sweden and not Norway. Of course, one need not be from Norway to play black metal, but you get my point. Is this imitation as the best form of flattery? Perhaps not due to the modern influences and recording techniques, but Damnation play their homage to the old-school quite well.

I wouldn't expect a new album from Damnation any time soon; the album's brief liner notes imply that the music for "Destructo Evangelia" was written over a 15-year period. Additionally, of the eight tracks only six are originals with two covers (Bathory's "Armageddon" and Vulcano's "Bloody Vengeance"). In fact, Bathory seems to be the model Damnation is following.

The two and a half chainsaw rating reflects more the number of people who'll appreciate Damnation's "Destructo Evangelia" rather than its quality. If you're into old-school black metal, but want something new to listen to instead of all the old original bands then Damnation's "Destructo Evangelia" is tailor made for you.

"Destructo Evangelia" was produced by Insulter Of Jesus Christ and Sunken.

Damnation is Churchburner, Insulter Of Jesus Christ, and Daemon. Lyrical contributions by Mork.

For more information visit http://www.threeman.net/

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2005 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02 Oct 2022 15:00:07 -0400.