Review: Satan Destroyer - Ov Damnation (EP)

Gabriel Mesones
Gabriel Mesones   Follow

Band: Satan Destroyer

Album: Ov Damnation (EP)

Label: Annihilated Pentagram Productions

Release: November 8, 2020

Length: 35 Minutes

Genres: Raw Atmospheric Black Metal

Track List:

  1. ​ The Last Chapter
  2. ​ Gorgoroth
  3. ​ Ov Damnation
  4. ​ Evangelist (Interlude)
  5. ​ II
  6. ​ The Advent of Pentacoste
  7. ​ Set Upon A Mounted Pillar
  8. ​ Last Rites

Satan Destroyer is a Christian black metal band that primarily focuses on raw black metal and atmospheric black metal. Satan Destroyer’s style is very unusual in both the secular scene and the Christian scene, with a distorted and intense sound that is constantly fast, aggressive, and brutal. Even though it's fair to call this style atmospheric raw black metal, it also has some similarities with war metal, and it could also be labeled as so, especially because of the vocals that are high screams but they're performed in a bestial way. Constant speedy blast beats, distorted guitars, and abrasive vocals create a dark, gloomy, intense, and chaotic atmosphere.

Some Christian bands that have a similar style would be black metal bands Abdijah, Elgibbor, Fire Throne, Anti-Venom, and the classic Horde. These bands could be compared to Satan Destroyer due to their rawness and intensity. They all come with an intentionally abrasive production and “low quality” to create a primitive atmosphere and an extreme sensation of brutality. But there are some differences with these particular bands, the use of atmosphere and the tone of the vocals, which is “lower”; while those bands perform high screams, these highs, as I said before, are more bestial, and more characteristic of a war metal band, as Lucifer Impaled, or Goatscorge. On the other side, the use of atmosphere reminded me more of bands like Nattersorg, Horror Tomb, Himmelriket, and of course, Desmodus Rotundus, which are all closer to black/noise or harsh noise wall because of the amount of distortion they tend to use on their guitars but it also used the atmospheric elements to give it a gloomy sensation and some beautiful soundscapes. Considering this, I could argue that Ov Damnation is a gateway or middle point between atmospheric raw black metal and war metal. It's also interesting that there are also some post-black influences in some songs, which is creative, because it’s hard to find bands that are this raw, using post-black influences.

These genres tend to be hard to swallow for many people, so definitely if you can’t stand a raw production and programmed drums (I think they’re programmed, but they feel pretty organic at some points, which makes me think that these could be hybrid drums) this album might not appeal to you, but I would also encourage new listeners to check it out because it can attract them and show them many contrasts of these extreme genres. This album is really interesting because even though it’s extreme and chaotic, it also has many nuances and interesting proposals, as unexpected time changes, fun riffs to listen to and headbang, and also many different vocal tones throughout the album. If you analyze the vocals at Last Rites, they’re higher than the rest of the album, and they’re particularly nearer to current black metal, which added a new texture to the album and brought me sweet memories from the first time I listened to Abdijah. Every song has a distinct element that introduces a new factor of aggressiveness and also some of its riffs carry a sensation of coldness that many could describe as “trve”. We have not had an atmospheric raw black metal band in the Christian scene, and also war metal bands are very uncommon, so it's wonderful to add (and welcome) Satan Destroyer to the front line in this fight against darkness.

Ov Damnation is very creative and has many brutal tracks as II or Set Upon A Mounted Pillar that were very different in terms of compositions with many changes and contrasts, leaving as result a sound that is huge and savage, if you enjoy these extreme levels of brutality, then this album is for you. Also, Evangelist is a really sweet and gloomy atmospheric interlude, it’s become one of my favorite interludes in music in general.

Lyrically, it's pretty interesting, I guess it breaks some clichés and stereotypes of Christian black metal, because being far from being preachy or having a hard-to-process theology level, this record actually has complex, well-written dark lyrics, that lines up correctly with the Bible. Talking of how rough the spiritual war is and directly praying to God for justice, but also time describing crudely the horrors coming for those against the Lord. So it acts as an advertisement of what’s to come for evil people and the enemy itself. The cover describes accurately what the lyrics are about, I understood these lyrics as a prayer, as someone asking God to remove damnation from its heart and the world itself and destroy those evil forces through the Light of the Scriptures.

Definitely an intense and dark listen, but also really fun and complex, full of different shades of diverse black metal sub-genres, which is enjoyable if you're into raw black metal. My only complaint would be that sometimes vocals cut weirdly at some songs (talking about raw black metal it’s hard to affirm if they were intentional) and that some songs lasted a bit more of what I could consider necessary. Leaving these things aside, this is a really fun and creative piece of raw black metal, that I will treasure together with Abdijah’s Satanic Rebellion Crushed and Fire Throne’s Day of Darkness and Blackness, as one of my favorites.

Favorite Tracks: II, Last Rites, Ov Damnation, Evangelist, The Last Chapter.

Rating: 8.7/10

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