Birthed unholy and executed with sadistic severity soon after, this first demo tape from Terror Oath is violence without consequence a murderous event unhinged from reason and without cause. Formed as a union between members of Weregoat and Vassafor sometime before (or within) 2014 this bestial black/death metal project sounds exactly as you might expect from an impulsive, raw war metal demo combining the brutal rip of Portland area black/death with the subterranean drum of the elite Auckland sound. Aberrated, bristling, and prone to heavy bursts of galloping death noise this type of war metal belongs in the same graveyard as artists like Pnuema Hagion and Antediluvian along with the line-up’s related bodies of work. There aren’t enough big riffs to kick the modern Archgoat fan into a frenzy, nor are the rhythms thrashing mad as Black Witchery but, Terror Oath choose their own path of downward spiraling death-tinged cacophony that shows great promise.
‘Terror Oath’ was originally released in 2014 on a limited run of professional tapes through the indomitable Vault of Dried Bones and while V. Kusabs (Vassafor) mastered the recording for the 12″ format it was a raw live recording to begin with, captured in Weregoat‘s home studio. The atmospheric values are oppressive and ever-looming but the hits are no less savage for it and the primal rage of the performances all come across loud and clear. There isn’t great depth to the arrangements as they all appear as the best war metal, fairly improvised and coke-blasted, but the layers of scalding noise and rumbling death do provide a moderately repeatable listen.
Intensity and atmosphere aren’t necessarily separate in typical genre entry bestial blackened death metal so to hear Terror Oath arriving upon a ‘moment’ with the nearly 9 minute “Desolations Kommand”. However you feel about brief war metal blasts this one at least stands out above a lot of the cheaper, punkish trash I’ve come across and I figure it is worth recommending both for the music and the effective packaging. Moderately high recommendation. For preview I’d recommend the title track just for the adrenaline blast it provides, but definitely check out “Drunk on the Blood of Eternal Triumph” if you need a riff or three before you decide to grab it.
Poison curse from broken fang. 3.75/5.0
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