The cover art for the debut EP release of German down-tempo hardcore band Damager perfectly illustrates what happens if you decide to listen to it. When I hear the name Damager I’m thinking of a force that inflicts some form of (ultimately) repairable damage on an object or person, don’t think that is the case here, when you do look at the name in that context a more accurate name for this band would be Total Destruction. The haunted guitar blasts and savage bass drops that can be heard on Abomination will bring down the house, the entire block and a good portion of the whole damn city. The drum work sounds like a heavy machine gun (alternating between burst fire and full-auto) that liquefies everything in its line of fire while the vocals will make you feel as if you were undergoing a rectal exam by Freddy Krueger. The bottom line to this whole thing is that Abomination is just raw fucking hardcore rage that not only gives you straight in-your-face energy but also a dense, unforgiving ambience.
Perhaps the biggest reason for this relentless sound is the DIY production that Damager uses, it has the PERFECT balance between heavy and distorted filthiness, listen to the intro track Awakening and see how the production amplifies the chugging and immersed breakdowns, this track alone is enough to get the listener’s undivided attention. The down-tempo hate starts with the second track Betrayer and does what all the better similar bands of the genre do best: allowing you to accumulate sufficient amounts of anger to take on the fucking Hulk in a one-on-one fist fight and knock him out in a single blow. Straight forward down-tempo beatdown is not the only thing you can hope to expect from Abomination however, the diversity hits you in the next track Backstabber, it has creepy guitars, djenty riffing and deathcore breakdowns to broaden the assault tactics that these German heavyweights have at their disposal. These constantly style-changing efforts are sure to please any fan of diverse but heavy music. It should be noted that Damager never goes too far with this and remains an addictive bulldozer of hardcore hate at its core. My favorite song Commissioner has loads of distorted (slow) riffing and nerve wracking creepy guitar tones that set the mood for a killing spree quite nicely. The slugfest is nearing its conclusion with the self titled track that keeps stacking brutal guitar chugging and angry lyrics until finally the ungodly breakdowns from the intro are back, as is the heavy atmosphere, you are left with an unquenchable thirst for more death and destruction once this song ends as the short outro is not enough to give you that feeling of an definitive ending, guess the only option you have left at this point is to give this beast another spin.
Abomination is yet another fine example of how this style of music isn’t limited to the United States anymore, with the UK based band Black Tongue setting a good example of how down-tempo is currently in high demand Damager adds another extremely solid release to the European roster. With several other heavy elements added to the formula Abomination rains all kinds of heavy down upon you until the crushing weight reduces you to a fucking midget. If any of this sounds appealing to you at all now would be the perfect time to purchase and listen to the versatile yet bone-crushing debut EP of Damager.
For fans of: Manipulator, Towers, Black Tongue, Demolisher, Hail to the King