The Latin of this album title sounds better than the rough English translation of Hell Devil King as this UK act releases their second album of mainly old school death metal tempered with traits of thrash as the band relishes a 90s like aura sound wise. Opener “Angels To Some Demons To Others” starts with an eerie sequence before diverting into a gnarly bulldozing riff and accompanying double kick charge which works superbly to elevate the power as the chorus appears to take its lyrics from the Hellraiser film to good effect. The penetrating riff of “Obliteration Of Mankind” surges the pace with a snapping snare assault before drifting the track into a thrash poise and mid-tempo thuggery.
A slam like riff starts “Infernum Diabolus” utilising a slower densification that pounds remorselessly but not speedily as the song channels the riffing back down gutter trawling deathly toxicity. I did enjoy ‘Lycanthropic Bloodlust’ due to its piercing old school riff that leads into pulverising drum work that again isn’t necessarily fast but is extremely effective as the song diverts into melodic death metal territory producing a varied and engaging tune. That melodicism continues into “Monuments To Our Ruin’ before reclaiming the old school death throne on “The Howling Of Draugr” where another slam like riff materialises but is awash with blast beat annihilation.
Closing the album is the very tuneful and more atmospheric “Solitude And The Silence” where the track builds up in tension with drum fill and cavernously bellowed vocals, a feature throughout the album but laden with texture. As the track intensifies so does the drumming, thrusting the double bass forwards with ever increasing power as the speed morphs brilliantly producing a very catchy ethos. As true and authentic a death metal as you’ll probably hear in the UK, Blood Oath has recorded an album that is as brutal as it is melodic.
(8/10 Martin Harris)