Satan Destroyer – “Ov Damnation”

I first happened upon the one man band that is Satan Destroyer sometime in August of this year. A stray single or two crossed my desk that I checked out and instantly enjoyed. In 2ish months time the singular entity responsible for the band namesake, Lord Enochiam, has doubled down with each single and, ultimately, this final full length.

“Ov Damnation” is fierce and frostbitten black metal that, frankly, for the musicianship and production style – simply cannot be touched.

The vocals immediately draw me in, personally. I love a good effects pedal or three on an already gnarly vocal delivery. These vocals sound like monsters on amplifiers from the furthest reaches of the most recessed corner of a damp and dark dungeon. So-called trve black metal fans will appreciate the vocals for this reason.

The guitar work is distorted riffs aplenty. Huge walls of distortion and classic black metal riffing with some new pedals and intonations. And they don’t stop. This album is 100%, front to back. Black metal riffs upon black metal riffs upon black metal riffs, with barely a second to catch your breath – let alone offer space for you to realize you need to do so.

I believe the drums are programmed and, typically, I take issue with such things. Less so in black metal, but still. However, the programming and delivery here is impeccable. The only moments I don’t see a drumkit being played in a musty dungeon here is when the hits become so fast and tight, as to be nearly humanly impossible. That said, the organic nature of their production never fails to impress and also helps to negate the human-vs-machine conversation.

The big interlude that is “Evangelist” is a remarkable effort in something tiptoeing between black metal, ambient, and dungeon synth. In fact, it most closely resembles my favorite dungeon synth artists in style and sound.

I’m not a fan of the logo. I am kind of apprehensive about several of the song titles on the entire discography, as they seem to be taken from bands or album titles or similar from the black metal community, wherein I think some more exercise in creativity could have been employed. On the same trail of thought, I wish the album and single artwork was more… “professional” and more in line with the music.

All of the above said, tune for tune, moment for moment, when it comes to true blistering and cold black metal – 2020 probably doesn’t have a better offering. And if you can’t get over your hangups with the fact that this is a christian music offering and referred to as “unblack metal” – you need to get your shit checked, take a deep breath, and come back to this one with an open mind.

Satan Destroyer – “Ov Damnation” on Bandcamp.

Author: The Artbreaker

Rising from the ashes of the late 90s and early 00s netlabel, independent, and DIY music journalism scene to bring you that good good once more.

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