It’s been a while since San Diego’s brutal death metal band Condemned, released an album, which was their third album, His Divine Shadow, in 2017.  Such a brutal death metal album.  I saw them on that tour as well and hung out with the mastermind behind the band, guitarist Steve Crow, and vocalist Sam Townsley.  Great guys and their set was brutal AF.  It touched my blackened heart when I returned to Internal Bleeding, in 2018 for touring, and standing in the front row at our San Diego show was Steve and Sam.  That was a special moment for me.

Fast Forward to present-day release of Daemonium to see the album contains none of the previous members from their last album on it, except for Mr. Steve Crow, of course.  The new additions this time around are: Dan Richardson, guitar, Clayton Meade, vox, Jimmy Montes, drums, and Art Malphas Paiz, bass.  Rest assured, good reader, there is no drop-off in the brutality department with this 12 song 38 minute album.  From start to finish you will barely have enough time to catch your breath.  Just look at that red demonic album cover-did you really think Condemned were going to start covering Swifty songs?

“Thee I Invoke” begins with a tiny little intro before the ruthless blasting gets underway.  Check out the brutality factor as well as Jimmy, literally starts gravity blasting.  So it’s safe to say this album opener is quite possibly one of the most brutal songs the band has crafted.  There are plenty of tempo shifts with some excellent mid-paced to slower groove sections and the bass guitar plucking is clearly audible on this album, which is what you would expect, since the scene on the west coast, is accustomed to having plucky bass guitars on those brutal death metal releases.

Clayton’s vocals are extremely brutal, ranging from extreme gutturals, to some 90’s flair death metal vocals and just all around excellent performance from Clayton, well done brother (he and I have been in touch since he joined Condemned years ago)

“Devils Feast” is a particular favorite of mine on this album.  Much of that has to do with the bludgeoning jumpy main guitar riff, that Steve and Dan, constructed.  It’s extremely catchy and the song blasts like a mofo, and then right into that mid-paced heavy AF riff, which as I explained earlier, has a bouncy feel to it.  When the music shifts from the blast to the mid-paced jumpy groove the vocals coming in are just ruthless and the drumming-so out of control, brutal and excellent.  This song must be in their upcoming live set, without a shadow of a doubt.

I love the song title of “Sigil of Belial” and the opening riff is so frickin’ heavy, it will mow you down, your neighbor’s lawn and potentially cause windows to shatter across your neighborhood when played on maximum volume.  Back to that opening riff, – one of the best riffs ever on a Condemned release.  It’s stupid heavy and catchy.

“The Divine Order of Babylon” rounds out the album with massive blasting and numerous tempo shifts and some chaotic drum rolls.  Some stupid putrid lower than whale shit types of vocals on this song, and they are disgustingly awesome.  There are plenty of pit-inducing sections on this song as well.  I always say when coming outta the starting gates with a great song, like Condemned does, you must always end with a killer song and that is precisely what Condemned did with this song.

Sometimes when there are shifts in vocalists, it can change a band.  If you miss former vocalist Sam Townsley well hey he has his brutal death metal band Parasitic and their EP they released in May Disfiguring Symmetry is so over-the-top amazing, that you need it!  Clayton’s vocals on this new Condemned album are excellent and really all the new members do phenomenal work on this.

Daemonium makes the perfect stocking stuffer for 2023, because it’s one of the best brutal death metal albums released this year!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
December 22nd, 2023


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