Damnation A.D.: In This Life Or The Next
Damnation A.D. - In This Life Or The Next - [Victory Records]


Damnation A.D are old dogs in this game. The band started out back in 1993 and was one of the first to infuse their hardcore with a more metallic sound; to an extent some people pinpoint the band as the originators of metalcore.

It's been 8 years since the band's last album, a long time, which makes this album somewhat of a reunion album, and along with their brand of violent metallic hardcore the band also brings in an updated sound and even a few guests including Earth Crisis and two Fall Out Boy members (probably to kill while recording the thing) among others.

Now, "In This Life Or The Next" has some seriously scary hardcore in it. "Don't Feel A Thing" is violent as it is technically proficient, and vocalist Mike McTernan (also in When Tigers Fight) is probably one of the craziest screamers the world has known, plus the use of plenty of film samples in is also interesting, but – as a whole, this album suffers from too many problems.

The first is the sound - it's thick, it's heavy, and it just smudges the band's playing. The vocals disappear in several tracks and the drums are too hard on your ears. It doesn’t feel oldschool on one hand, and not smooth enough to be Nu-school on the other.
Another thing is that several tracks feel like empty shells of songs, while most of the songs on the first part of the album sound better fleshed out, the ones that come after that just feel like empty studio rehearsals, with no real hooks or interesting ideas in them. The combination of the two problems on a track like "The Hangedman" just screams out; this is a song that could have worked, but just doesn’t.

It’s still probably a release every core fan out there will need to listen to, but there's a definite air of a failed attempt at greatness from this excellent band, they could have done much better with this one.

Alon Miasnikov

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