After catching their February gig at Camden’s Unicorn, I was keen to get my hands on Dethonator’s second release – Return To Damnation.
Listening to this album brought back good memories of the night. The band have put together a tidy package for those who like who like a good blend of old fashioned thrash, power and melody.
Opening with a crunching salvo, Cold Light Of Day immediately stamps its’ authority on the band’s latest offering. With the frenetic energy of Exodus, Dethonator begins the listener’s journey in style. The track gets the blood pumping from the outset as the sheer pace of the song leads into an Iron Maiden inspired mid section – the soloing is clinical and purposefully delivered.
Followed by the grumbling, militaristic march of Blight, this is stuff to raise the horns to. The band displays plenty of versatility too. Death metal vocals courtesy of Adz Lineker are interspersed with Tris Lineker’s clean delivery on the anthemic Legion adding a menace to an already frantic attack. The band manages to capture a nice balance of melody and all out aggression.
Dethonator’s early ’80s thrash influences are on display in Trenches. Big, Metallica style grooves give the song some serious balls. Crunchy riffs and plenty of punch make this one the album’s highpoints. The old school influences are plain to see and are delivered with an enthusiasm that is hard not to like.
The songs on this album blend into each other quite well. The blast beat intro of Scarecrow leads into a more modern metal sounding track and is something more noticeable on the second half of the album. However, it’s the brutality of aptly entitled Exorcism that puts the smile on my face. This is the track that stands out to me and captures the live sound of the band.
Blood Feud is a nasty sounding piece. The death metal vocals once again add a darkness that is complemented by a squealing guitar break that smacks of Slayer. The Bleeding Dark closes out Return To Damnation on a more epic, story-telling note.
The album’s production is clean and it’s nicely mixed. Dethonator have crafted a solid bunch of songs with musicianship to match. This is a good offering of old school thrash inspired metal.
Return To Damnation is definitely worth getting hold of and will make you want to get out and catch them on the live circuit where these songs really shine. Taking inspiration from some of the biggest names, this will make to want grab a beer and warm up those neck muscles.