Braced for Nails : Icons Above All Others

Ossuary Industries/Sevared Rec : 2010
Format : CD

Shortly after moving to Houston in 2004, I was taking in some long forgotten metal show when I guy hands me a CDr with the auspicious title of “Damnation’s Prayer”.  I took it and slid it in the player for my hour long trek back to the ‘burbs. I was floored. Not being a huge fan of the “brootal” gore grind scene that seemed to permeate what’s labeled as Death Metal, here was something more akin to my liking and forever made me a fan. The band was composed of thoroughbreds that had helped define the cities scene. Not your typical dudes in a band, but accomplished musicians with real (gasp) intelligence.

Fast forward six years after giving up on the many “When’s the album coming out?” when I ran across members at various shows and the band dismantling seeming before it had officially begun. And behold…

Listening with “fresh ears”, I’m reminded on one of the things that appealed to me about the band in the first place, the perfect blending of shank in the guts old school masters style with the mega technical. Blistering blast beats crash do a dead stop of sometimes Doom proportions, but never ease up on lethal aggression. Combine this with interludes that would make Ihsahn jealous. Lyrically and thematically the band was always in my cross-hairs, Death Metal should be about just that, with a healthy dose of Christian hatred and homage to the Dark One. Think a speedier version of Immolation with a dose of southern anathema only Houston summers can produce.

But taking into account the bands pedigree in Houston and beyond, it’s easy to understand why they would deliver the goods. All four members had previously been in the highly underrated Infernal Dominion with Texas legend Wes Weaver. These guys just had “it”: the Satan to pig squeal vocals of Mike Swearigen who amazingly always manages to deliver them comprehensible, unearthly guitar from Jim Case, thundering 4-string via Chance and the Buddy Rich of metal drummers, Dobber Beverly. The album cover also features the always incredible artwork of Mr. John Zig.

Sadly, as stated above, the band no longer exists. Although all of it’s members continue to lead us down paths of destruction in various incarnations: Demoniacal Genuflection, Ingurgitate, Insect Warfare, Uncleansed, and the newly reformed Imprecation to name but a few. But you can still appreciate what this band once was. Contact the labels for details.


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