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Deathwish - At The Edge Of Damnation (Reissue)

At The Edge Of Damnation (Reissue)
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 07 July 2017, 12:54 PM

American Rock N’ Roll had the answer from their British counterparts in the 60s, and in the 80s it happened again, the British had an almost equal answer to the growing Bay Area Thrash Metal scene in the US with bands of their own. The leading bands as late 80s VENOM / XENTRIX and ONSLAUGHT along with the smaller candidates in the fold SEVENTH ANGEL / LAWNMOWER DETH / RE-ANIMATOR / ACID REIGN / SLAMMER put up a good fight to the popularity that surged over the American scene. DEATHWISH, emerged from Brighton, was once upon a time a member of the outburst of Thrash in the UK. With the fading of the NWOBHM era, these guys were already putting the pedal to the metal, thrashing to be recognized. 1987 saw the band’s debut album “At The Edge Of Damnation”, originally released via Metalworks Records. Nearly two decades after the debut, with a probable out of print copies, Dissonance Productions reissued the album to teach the young ones some of their local scene’s history.

Right from the beginning I could sense the influence of the late 70s / early 80s MOTORHEAD and the crudeness of early VENOM on the band’s songwriting and musical approach. To put it in a simpler form, it is highly probable that these guys were inhaling the Punk gas while being on the NWOBHM pill, everything done in order to create such a wicked mixture that is smeared with dirt. Whether American or British, nearly all the Thrash Metal bands had the knack of reprising NWOBHM in a heavier and speedier modes, yet regarding DEATHWISH, and in a sense also fairly their comrades CEREBRAL FIX, it felt rather raw, singing praise to the upcoming brutality.

The songs on the list are quite simple, hard edged Speed / Thrash Metal with a few traditional British Metal elements breakpoints of mid-tempo, a quality that only did good to the riff based templates, which are mainly in for the kill into another bash fest. Honestly, the album didn’t quite make a positive impression on the first two tracks, which in my opinion, became closer to fillers. However, things started coming around with the self-titled and beyond. “Dance of the Dead” let the charge with a mid tempo blackened witchery driven by a solid steel main riff while the hymn “Sword of Justice” screamed for the vigilante to take control, steering the boat towards Heavy Metal shores. “For Evil Done” is encrusted in darkness, an impressive track that has raises the bar for thrashed up devilish songs, certainly one of the band’s better faces. Also recommended: “Leaving Your Life Behind” and the soul collector “Exorcist”.

DEATHWISH might not be of the top class of the British Thrash Metal, and their disbandment after the sophomore, closer to the end of the 80s, didn’t help much. Nonetheless, their left heritage remains a part of the old school storm that took on the UK.


3 Star Rating

1. In the Name of God
2. Demonic Attack
3. At the Edge of Damnation
4. Exorcist
5. Leaving Your Life Behind
6. Dance of the Dead
7. For Evil Done
8. Sword of Justice
9. Forces of Darkness
Jon Van Doorn - Vocals
Stuart Ranger - Bass
Dave Deathwish - Guitars
Brad Sims - Drums
Record Label: Dissonance Productions


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