By Theron Moore

I actually had to go back and sample some of BURNING THE OPPRESSOR’s prior work because I wasn’t understanding who this band is, what their musical identity is, with their latest record, “Damnation”. Their previous albums, especially “Ignition” and “Bloodshed”, seemed pretty focused and had a sense of balance about them, albeit a groove metal meets hardcore approach, but was still consistent and I could follow where the band was going, creatively. With “Damnation”, I feel like BURNING THE OPPRESSOR abandoned that sound and technique for a more aggressive, thrashier sound, which is fine if you can pull it off. With “Damnation”, it works and it doesn’t.

Let me be clear about what I’m saying. When this heavier, thrashier sound doesn’t work, it sounds average, even generic, which is the impression I got from tracks one and two, “Cannibal” and “Oppressor.” For me, it was too LAMB OF GOD meets PANTERA for my taste. “Martyrize,” began moving in a more interesting direction which led into track four, “Black Eye,” a real battering ram of a song I wish all of “Damnation” was like.

As I said previously, “Damnation” isn’t a bad record, it just seems scattered trying to cover a lot of different thrash territory which sounds hit and miss and in the end I couldn’t connect with it. To be fair to this band, check out their videos on YouTube and you be the judge. For me, “Damnation” is a no go; it didn’t stand out to me.

3/5 Stars