HistoryDreams Of Damnation was initially formed by former Dark Angel guitarist Jim Durkin in 1992 and released a self-titled and 3-song EP through Durkin's own label. The band featured members of Heretic and Metal Church at this point.
Durkin, who was also in several Hardcore bands like Blister, has maintained the thrash outfit and held out for a bigger deal for a full-length. The guitarist/band leader does audio and video professionally and finally managed to garner a deal with Necropolis Records partly through his connection with bands like Witchery and Sadistic Intent.
The year 2000 brought the first fruit of this co-operation namely the release of the Let The Violence Begin MCD.
Having invited Dark Angel fan and Century Media publicist Loana Valencia to a rehearsal, Durkin unceremoniously asked Valencia to become, first the singer for a side-project and then, the band's singer after hearing her sing covers of Motörhead and Accept songs.
The band played numerous shows and in June of 2002 entered the studio with producer Bill Metoyer to record its debut full-length entitled Epic Tales Of Vengeance.
In mid-2002 and when Dark Angel suddenly decided to reform, lacking a drummer the band asked Al Mendez to join. The returning Gene Hoglan very shortly thereafter replaced him.
Sporadic reports of the band recording and playing live kept coming in for the next two years until the band's billing at 2004's Brave Words festival in Cleveland. The band made it to Cleveland only for the members to get into a brawl and duly return to base without playing. The band was considered broken up. A year later, the band was still together. It was a new line-up, with only Durkin and Valencia remaining standing, that issued its first full-length in June of 2006. This version of the album was produced by Chris Trent and issued by the band’s Say It In Blood Records. Drummer Dave Chedrick of Dreams Of Damnation and Hirax joined Anger As Art in 2007. With nothing else transpiring Durkin joined the reformed Ruthless in late 2008.
DREAMS OF DAMNATION - EPIC TALES OF VENGEANCE - SAY IT IN BLOOD
Technically, Epic Tales Of Vengeance should not be reviewed as an album given how it is independently released. Still, Dreams Of Damnation has managed to put together an album after, oh only, 15 years of trying and the occasion probably needs to be highlighted! Of course, whether this disc can be a considered a full-length album is questionable given the inclusion of an intro and a total of 27 minutes of music.
Music-wise, this is just what the doctor ordered. The riffs of one-time Dark Angel Jim Durkin and the vocals of Loana dp Valencia cut like a knife. In fact, my throat dies whenever she sings. She might be female, but whenever she barks her metal commands the neighbours take a step or two back. There are ripping razor sharp manic riffs all over the album, although the guitars are clearly not mixed loudly enough. The one real negative though is the drumming. The beats are not particularly powerful or heavy hitting. Having said that, like the rest of the band, the drummer is on rapid-fire mode. My favourite song right now is Eaters Of The Dead, which is an unapologetically old school thrash tune. It is energetic, high speed, head banging mayhem. Parasite, likewise, is a great song with an authentic Dark Angel vibe.
This album was reportedly being recorded three years ago with producer Bill Metoyer and a different line-up, which leaves a few line-up and logistics questions unanswered. Either way, Dreams Of Damnation is carrying the thrash metal torch proudly at a time when more and more bands are opting for song writing generica. This is heavy, but so is a tank, which incidentally is how this album will roll over you. - Ali “The Metallian”