Bravewords - 7.5/10

Damned Nation is the full-length debut from this U.K. quartet. Described as not a “reformation, but a rebirth,” Trapped In Purgatory holds three members from Purgatory, who issued a series of demos in the late-‘80s. Damned Nation is good ol’ thrash comfort food with added spice sprinkled in. If you’re a thrash metal fan, there is no reason not to check this out.

Beginning with an acoustic intro (“Prelude To War”), “Hung Out To Die” rushes forth with raging vocals as Chris Neighbour sets the tone with a throaty bark and fits in well with the songs that deal with a pessimistic view on society and the corruption of government. Jon Hoare is a pure menace on the bass; bringing that thick sound akin to D.D. Verni. The bass groove and bouncy rhythm in “Spit It Out” is catchy and could fit perfectly on an Overkill record. Speed is the name of the game with the punk spirit in “Demonicide” and the straight-forward, no-nonsense “Apex Predator”. The title track features tempo changes going from mid-paced thump to fast and desperate in the second half. Featuring a big chorus, it stands out as one of the best TIP has to offer. The album flies at a lightning pace, but then throws a curveball with the twists and turns of “Beyond The Rubicon” that utilizes female vocals from Theresa Smith (Metaprism) in the chorus. Unexpected, but it works. Closing instrumental “Ashen Tide” begins as a reflective piece, but then churns out electric guitars and becomes aggressive before hitting a big ending and closing the album on a prominent note.

It should be noted that Damned Nation as a whole sounds excellent. All the instruments are distinctly clear with a modern feel, but still retaining that old-school edge. That meaty bass tone and playing is so good and is worth the price of admission alone. Great start from these guys and looking forward to hearing more!