Domination Campaign – Onward To Glory (Prosthetic Records)
Psycroptic vocalist Jason Peppiatt and guitarist Joe Haley have long been associated with technically dazzling, complex death metal.
Albums such as As The Kingdom Drowns, Ob(servant) and The Inherited Repression are works of starborn fretwork and dizzying rhythmic dynamics.
But with Domination Campaign – a Psycroptic offshoot masterminded by Peppiatt – the pair have parachuted into a brutal battlefield where stripped-down riffery and merciless percussive barrages win the day.
Onward To Glory sees the Tasmanian duo stride across a charred, bloodied landscape, Haley this time manning the drums while Peppiatt adds guitars and bass to his caustic vocal arsenal.
Bolt Thrower, Asphyx and God Dethroned lurk in the trenches and shell craters.
This time it’s war.
Death Before Dishonour sets the scene, emerging through a hail of machine gun fire to relentlessly pound its way through the conflict zone.
And on the title track, Domination Campaign’s sonic slaughter is powered by titanic, ‘Thrower-esque riffs and a menacing, apocalyptic groove conjured by Haley. It’s one of this debut record’s undoubted highlights, along with As Daylight Breaks, a nerve shredding tale of imminent carnage.
This style of death metal can often descend into lacklustre ‘meat and potatoes’ fodder.
But Peppiatt ensures that doesn’t happen.
Yes, you get what you’re given.
Don’t expect arcing solos and shimmering melodies.
Onward To Glory isn’t reinventing the wheel.
But Peppiatt is an astute songsmith.
He knows how to balance downtuned devastation with drama, how to build tension into every note, how to sculpt relatively simple hooks into razor sharp barbs.
Combined with Hayley’s dexterity and sheer power behind the kit, it makes for a Molotov cocktail of an album, one which lyrically and musically, drags you into the hell of industrialised warfare.
It sure ain’t pretty.
However, if mid-paced, old school annihilation is your thing, then prepare to be dominated…