Damnation A.D.

Misericordia [10"]

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Despite guitarists Ken Olden and Hillel Halloway switching up between invocations of the Bomb Squad, Lyle Preslar, and Tony Iommi without much warning, Misericordia lacks a sense of chaos -- there's simply no fight to escape the darkness that Damnation A.D. creates. Olden's and Holloway's submerged guitars, Mike McTernan's My War-styled growl, and the ultra-clean rhythm section of Dave Ward and Alex Merchlinsky don't appear to have much regard for light, not necessarily celebrating a dark world but rather exploring it without resistance. The band employs a punk sensibility throughout, making their point with efficient and focused songs that still allow the music to breathe. As a result, Misericordia sounds best when taken as a whole work. Critical darlings like Tool rack up accolades for mining the same shadowy ground, in certainly no more compelling fashion than Damnation A.D. For heavy music fans who seek a more underground, less overwrought dark vision, though, Misericordia is highly recommended.

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