2012 : Warfare Noise Productions
Format : Cassette
One thing I realized after moving to the Houston area earlier in the decade was that it supported a fairly incestuous metal scene. Band members were likely to play in several different outfits in a wide range of styles. Maybe it’s the same in every large city. This is the first metropolis I’ve ever been a resident of. Sometimes that’s not a good thing, but have a listen at these lads and you’ll agree cross-pollination is indeed where it’s at.
Oath of Cruelty features members of Death Metal heavyweights Blaspherian, Grindcore psychos P.L.F., Deathrashers Necrotic Void and and scene stalwarts Dark Reign. But, they manage to sound nothing like any of those bands. While there’s definitely elements of Death and a healthy dose of Thrash, this hearkens back to the days of pure, unadulterated Speed Metal. There’s nothing technical, fancy or pretty here. It’s just well crafted, jump-around-the-room-and-tear-some-shit-up metal. If you can sit still through the opening track, you’re probably not that into metal to begin with. Ten seconds into “Altar of Impalement” and I’m the 2013 National Air Drumming Champion. Seriously. This is sweat, testosterone and violence captured on tape.
This is the first demo from a new band on a new label, but for my money they couldn’t have picked a better one. Art Verduzco and his wife Rosalinda are longtime supporters of the Houston metal scene, running Realms of Metal, promoting shows and the dark gods know what else. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a local show that they weren’t there. That’s heavy guns to have your back.
The initial run of 300 copies has already sold out, but a second printing of the same amount is currently available. These won’t be around long, so contact the label directly on Facebook to see about securing a copy.