EP Review: Commando – Rites of Damnation (High Roller Records)

In advance of their first full-length album, Commando whet our collective appetites for more classic, thrash-tinged heavy metal with “Rites of Damnation,” a mini LP containing six tracks that hint at a bright future for these young Swedes. Founded in 2016 by four like-minded youngsters at school, the band found themselves quickly juggling with different influences from the whole metallic spectrum to create their own variation on timeless sounds and themes.

The two songs from their 2018 demo were re-recorded for “Rites of Damnation” to show the large steps Commando have taken within just a few months.

Explains singer Robin:

We wanted a bigger sound and added a few details. Stylistically, we were inspired by many Scandinavian acts and artists, particularly In Solitude and Henrik Palm, Vampire, Mercyful Fate and Tribulation, not to forget the Swedish thrash underground with names such as Antichrist and Insane.

Rites of Damnation will be released on May 22nd 2020.

Thrash but with a fair but more flair to it, particularly within the guitar riffs, The Sacrament starts of strong. Then the vocals hit and truth be told…they take a little getting used too. Yelping and almost hysterical sounding, they’re very dominating and very distracting at first.

Once they settle and your mind gets used to the distinct style, the focus becomes more on what Commando do really well. Which is coarse riffing, hurtling rhythm, springy drum beats and what becomes quite an effective vocal performance. Final Judgement, Slumbering Death, Djävulsmaskopi and Burn the Sky are all hard and heavy head-bangers.

However it’s Sinners Soul that really stands out with its thumping opening salvo leading to an injection of manic guitar work. This is the track that really showcases Commando’s modern capabilities as well as their tribute to the classic sound of thrash.

Commando – Rites of Damnation Full Track Listing:

1. The Sacrament
2. Final Judgement
3. Slumbering Death
4. Djävulsmaskopi
5. Sinner Soul
6. Burn the Sky


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Commando - Rites of Damnation (High Roller Records)
  • The Final Score - 7/10
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