Oath of Cruelty
Summary Execution At Dawn

In the forever immortalized words of the WWE’s Stone Cold Steve Austin, “Can I get a Hellyeah?!!!” Those were pretty much my sentiments when checking out the debut full-length offering, Summary Execution At Dawn, from San Antonio, Texas’, Oath of Cruelty. Do you like your metal raw, a bit blackened, and dripping with the influential aplomb of Altars of Madness-era Morbid Angel, Angelcorpse, Impiety, Sodom, and even Morbid Saint and ’84-’85 circa Slayer? Well then, you’re in luck, as Summary Execution At Dawn is overflowing with such might that I was initially caught off guard. Not that this take of extremity hasn’t been done  before, many times over, but Oath of Cruelty manage to ipress quite thoroughly with a blazing, take no prisoners brand of old-school primal, head busting ferocity that sounds like a band firmly planted in the field that they have long since cultivated. These guys know what they want and they know how to achieve it.

Like a point blank, sawed off shotgun blast to the face, O. o. C. destroys right from the get-go. “Pounding Hooves of Shrapnel” tears out of the gates brandishing the bands speedy and visceral take of old-school blackened death; the song slices and bludgeons in that “Maze of Torment”(Morbid Angel) styled influence of fast, twisting riffs, ripping solos and blastbeats of yesteryear, and not a downtuned to Satan’s bowels moment to be found. No, this is just gloriously old-school patterned, denim and leather, furious real deal metal. The track sets up the rest of the album’s sound and presentation perfectly, letting listeners know where O. o. C. stands and what can be expected form the remaining offerings found on Summary Execution At Dawn.

With nary a dud or bad track to be found on Summary…, where you stand with Oath of Cruelty‘s said style is what will ultimately determine how their material will hit and stick with you. Though I have a hard time seeing any fans of extreme metal passing on the beatings of “Pathogenic Winds of Swarm”, or having a distaste for the likes of  the album’s title track, with its speedy thrashing assault, ripping solos, and blasting battery, or turning a fickle nose up to the wonderfulness of the Hell Awaits meets Altars of Madness pummel of “Into the Chamber of Death”. Hell, they even tackle a cover of Merciless‘ “Denied Birth” in true ripping form. From top to bottom, Summary… reeks of nostalgic brutality in a most superb way. A sturdy and primal, but not lo-fi, production bolstering these songs adds to the old-school essence of Summary…, and it works marvelously at rendering these tracks even that much more authentic. Oath of Cruelty doesn’t come across as a band plagiarizing the old-school, they simply come off as old-school. An awesome feat in and of itself.

When I was a younger kid in the early to mid ’80’s, my two older sisters shared a bedroom. In this bedroom hung a fold out magazine poster of Van Halen‘s David Lee Roth in all of his trying to be seductive douchey glory, sporting spandex pants/leggings, pulled way to low (nobody wants to see your pubes Dave!), a frilly/puffy shirt, and a multitude of pink scarves, all while making some atrocious kissy duck face sneer. I hated this poster, and I credit it for my continued distatste of all that is Diamond Dave. My sisters, on the other hand, loved it. Gazing fondly into this blasphemy, I can only imagine the type of thoughts they must have had. It’s sickening to both the mind and body. Alas, who am I to scoff or belittle the worship of a fan’s idol?

Why do I bring this little tid bit of useless knowledge from my life up in this review? Well, because I can see the members of O. o. C. having a few of these posters hanging about in their garages or jam space. Not of David Lee Roth mind you, but with the sneering images of Trey Azagthoth, David Vincent (Morbid Angel), Pete Helmkamp, Gene Palubicki (Angelcorpse), or even Tom Angelripper (Sodom). It only makes sense that they too have stared fondly at the images of their mighty influencers as well, much like my demented sisters did with old Diamond Dave, though for way different reasons. At least their images are surely 100% free of dick hair.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kristofor Allred
March 12th, 2020


  1. Commented by: Ben

    Really liking this so far. The Altars of Madness vibe is excellent!

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