There’s very little in regards to back-catalog for the Houston, Texas-based OSDM band Oath Of Cruelty. All that had been previously offered was a demo here, a two-song EP there, etc. Their first full-length Summary Execution At Dawn hits rather abruptly without having much primitive background to go off of, and it’s quite impressive. The sound is heavily rooted in the late ‘80s Florida death metal flavors, which is a refreshing step away from the overwhelming amount of Swedish-death as of late.
One could argue that there was a little bit of thrash mixed into the wet concrete before it was poured. Vocally, this could not be closer to David VIncent’s early hisses if it tried. But instrumentally, there’s some obvious Morbid Saint and Sepultura influence, especially in the rhythms. The approach taken for the majority of Summary Execution At Dawn is a utilizing momentum growth, before dropping off at the end with a steadier resolution. My only real complaint is that things are a bit too on-the-nose here, and overall it lacks real identity.
There are, of course, exceptional moments. “Victory Rites Of Exsanguination” contains a more guttural tone vocally, and the riffing is churned out at an unstoppable rate. Despite how brief the solo is, it’s one of the best on the disc. The layout of “Through Alchemy And Killing” is also pretty intricate. The intro is swinging with steady beats that shift in and out of a harsher attack, all before reaching a vocal onslaught. And of course, there’s no denying that the drawn-out and fast-picked rhythms consisting of slowly altered notes on “Denied Birth” are pretty stellar. The echoed production on this album helps that song especially, and the lyrics invoke a devastating feeling.
On paper, this is really a perfect example of how to do Florida death metal. It’s brief, it’s not overly produced or technical, and the riffing is spot on. Lack of originality will never make me dock a band points if they can make it stick hard, but I’d be lying if I said that just a couple listens was the fix. All of those rides through it were enjoyable, though. Anyone who enjoys this style should seek it out.
Summary Execution At Dawn will be released on December 9th, 2019 through Dark Descent Records. Find it digitally, in CD, or in various vinyl formats here.