You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but doing so is somewhat inherent when it comes to Death Metaller DNA. How many of us back in the day picked out a few of our all-time favorite records at the store based solely upon cover art, logo, song titles, a trusted label, etc? As the internet continues to crush every remnant of heterosexual civilization, record stores become a fading fond memory, but old habits die hard. Darkness by Oath were able to ignite my curiosity without even having to thumb through the “D”s. First and foremost, they’re on Cyclone Empire. That tends to mean awesomeness. Secondly, song titles like “Into the Gloom” and “Holloworld” spark my interest further, as I’m a miserable prick always hoping for his next sadness fix. They’re also from Spain, the country that brought us Avulsed. Doomy Avulsed maybe? That’d hit the spot! Last but not least, they come Dan Swano-approved. Something along the lines of, “in-your-face Death Metal with the right hooks ripping my ears to shreds,” if memory serves. So, those of you who’ve heard Near Death Experience can imagine my eye-rolling dismay upon finally getting to listen to it. I don’t know what’s more of a shock: that there are still bands doing the Gothenburg thing, or that bands still doing the Gothenburg thing are still getting signed. Perhaps the real mystery is what white sorcery convinced these Spaniards that anyone in the 21st century wants to hear half-assed Slaughter of the Soul and Jester Race worship after two decades of it being pinball-machine-raped to death by countless Bitch Stewie bands. What’s worse is that they bring absolutely nothing new or original to the table. Just note-for-note At the Gates, In Flames, and Dark Tranquillity forgery and a vocalist who sounds like Alex Krull with two dicks in his mouth. One has to wonder if the members of this band also wear sneakers with lights in them and fanny packs. This album is such an uninspiring and vapid listen, even if it had come out in 1996 it would still be a turd in the punch bowl.
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