Review: Commando – Rites Of Damnation

Commando – Rites Of Damnation (High Roller Records)

Review by Steve Thomas-Green

I grew up in a remote part of the UK, so to get to the major record stores, we had to travel 2 hours each way by train, to get to the nearest big city.

So a group of us used to save up the wages from our part time jobs and then go on a massive vinyl buying spree. As we got older and earnt more money, this turned into a day of drinking and vinyl buying…

One day, late in 1984, when I was 17, my haul included Mercyful Fate’s Don’t Break The Oath, and some unknown American band called Metallica and an album called Ride The Lightning…

Now, that long winded intro is because that was over 35 years ago and the release I’m reviewing today, is from a bunch of young Swedes, who only formed in 2016, but the debut EP from Commando sounds like it was made in 1984.

Where am I going to place this… probably Occult Metal with hints of Thrash.

There’s no denying the Mercyful Fate influences, slightly more Melissa than Don’t Break The Oath. So that’s the occult side taken care of. And musically, this is somewhere between old school Thrash and Speed Metal.

The most positive aspect of this though, is that, yes, I am making comparisons with other bands from that era, but Commando have all the chops and enough about them, song writing and style wise, to form their own sound as they progress.

If you’re an old fucker like me, this is a perfect excuse to hide the past 35 years to re-live your youth, well, at least for the 24 minutes of the EP. This is old school, but fresh at the same time. I love the energy and passion on display and I cannot wait for their forthcoming debut album.

And well done to the A&R department at HRR, you’ve got yourselves a gem here…

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