CD Review: Heat Of Damage - Open Fire (2015)

Short Introduction

Heat of Damage writes and performs an edgy and eclectic mix of rock, metal, and alternative music. Their debut EP Orenda was self- produced in the drummer's garage and was released in 2013.

Since then, the band has performed at numerous venues in the Sacramento area. The group released their second EP, the Lifestyle EP, in September 2014. The title track was featured on Sacramento’s 98 Rock Local Licks show for three weeks running. Lifestyle's "Apocalypse" was released soon after and earned the 2nd spot on 98 Rock's Local Licks Most Liked Songs of 2014 Countdown Show.

Following the local success of the Lifestyle EP, including two 2015 Sacramento News & Review SAMMIE award nominations for best teen band and best hard rock band, the band entered the studio with with producer Matt Thomas in Sacramento to record their first full-length album, Open Fire, which was released in October of 2015.

(c) by Heat Of Damage, used with kind permission


This band introduces a great mixtures of elements of Metalcore (vocals on some points), classic 80's metal (guitars), alternative metal (production) and also a lot of atmosphere from American punk bands and lifestyle. In fact it is one of the biggest surprises that came my way in a long time. While listening to their material is sort of relaxed and uplifiting yet very powerful it also expresses a lot of aggression partly through the vocals, something that give's the listener and writer of these lines a redemption feeling.

It lives from the tension between the heavy riffs, hammering drums on the one hand and the easier feeling that comes along through the vocals in most of the vocals, except for most of the refrains (the mentioned Metalcore heavyness steps in at those parts).  Looking at the fact that this is their first full length release this seems to me one of the bands that could really contribute to the further development of Heavy Metal music without leaving all the roots behind.

Album Overview

If you wanna get quickly started I can suggest the first single "Judgment Day" to you (it's song number two in the album stream below). It's a blast with a lot of drumming that made me speechless. The drummer really hammers and nails down each and every single whole that ever was. Meanwhile the guitars maintain a sound with much volume and classic metal guitar songwriting. Overall you'll hear what the vocalist has to offer. Does this give you as much positive vibes as it does to me? Then don't move, just relax and listen further.

The next track "Accessory" keeps the pushing and heavy tonality up. It's maybe one of the roughest tracks of the package giving you the "let the pressure burn" feeling. After all you may want to relax a bit. The half ballad "Fade Away" will give you a moment to breathe. Happily it's not too flat, while the music is much softer than before it still has a lot of atmosphere in it. The feeling keeps authentic transporting a lot of emotion through the music.

The second batch of the album track offer more complex tracks. "Veil of Authority" stands out with it's diverse vocal performance. The motions change nearly with every single text line so does the music goes with it through all the up and downs until a blast scream sends some salvation at the end. "Osprey Drive" goes with a similar feeling but is parltl lighter than the previous number.

Katie Robinette contribute's some guest vocals to "Heaven", a slightly easier song before "The Greeding Party" gives you yet another kick in the face and the hymn "Any other way" with a typical earcatching hookline marks a proper closing line to a great album.

Player and Purchase-Link

Thankfully the band offers a full album stream via YouTube giving everyone the fair chance of listening to the whole album without any risk in advance. Hit the play button and enjoy listening to a great new band you don't want to miss anymore once heard.

The album is up for purchase as download on sites such as  iTunes, CDBaby or Amazon.

Contact Data

Also make sure to see the band's social domains of sites such as Facebook, Twitter or check in to their homepage since the band has some shows coming. Here are the next one's that have been announced so far:

Jan 30th
Saturday at 7:00 PM
The Boardwalk
Orangevale, CA

Feb 3rd
Wednesday at 6:00 PM
Ace of spades
Sacramento, CA

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