The name Damnation has been used more than a few times in the rock world. Damnation has been the name of a California punk band, an Argentinian power metal band, and a Canadian thrash metal/speed metal band, as well as death metal/black metal bands from Poland and Indonesia, and there has also been a German band called Damnation. But the Damnation profiled in this bio is an underground Swedish metal trio, and "underground" is definitely the word to describe the Stockholm-based outfit, which has combined death metal and black metal with thrash metal and speed metal. Despite many years in the trenches, Sweden's Damnation hasn't enjoyed much commercial success -- even by death metal and black metal standards -- and their recordings have been few and far between. The group's obscurity has a lot to do with the fact that Damnation's three members -- Richard Cabeza on lead vocals and guitar, Björn Gramell on bass, and Peter Stjärnvind on drums -- have kept busy with a variety of other bands in the ‘90s and 2000s (some of them much better known). Cabeza has been a part of at least seven other Nordic bands, including Dismember, Unleashed, Carbonized, and General Surgery, while Stjärnvind's affiliations have included Entombed, Regurgitate, and Loud Pipes. Gramell, meanwhile, is perhaps best known for his association with a band called Charred Remains. Clearly, Cabeza, Gramell, and Stjärnvind have regarded Damnation as a side project; nonetheless, Damnation has been active for a long time (albeit in an on-again/off-again fashion). The trio was formed in 1989, and Damnation was still contributing to the Nordic metal scene 15 years later in 2004 (and continuing to fly under the radar). Although not a punk band per se, the Swedish headbangers are certainly punk-influenced, and they obviously identify with the sort of gut-level rawness that characterized old-school punk back in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. There is a very primitive, garage-like quality to Damnation, whose influences (some of them from Western Europe, some of them from the United States) have included Venom, Celtic Frost, Bathory, and the seminal Motörhead, as well as Slayer, Napalm Death, and Megadeth. And their work hasn't changed very much along the way; in 2004, a few reviewers commented on how stylistically, Damnation had maintained their loyalty to the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Damnation continues to recall an era in which thrash metal was giving way to the more extreme (but equally punk-influenced) death metal/black metal field -- a time when the blistering Slayer was considered both thrash and death metal. Although Damnation recorded some little-known demos in the ‘90s (including 1995's Divine Darkness), it took them 15 years to come out with their first full-length album. Their debut album finally saw the light of day in 2004, when Candlelight released Destructo Evangelia in the United States.
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