Guitarist Scott Stearns is an astronaut of musical violence. He explores dark, ugly places that reek of sulfur, rotgut, and boiling sweat. His Necrodamus project is a reshuffling of a recent Fistula lineup. But where that band lurks in a sludgy punk-metal midground, Necrodamus alternately stalks both sides of the crossover divide. Stearns riffs his way to Armageddon on battle-ax tunes like "Two Ton Hammers of Metal" and "Stoned Apocalypse (Judgment Day)." A cover of the Misfits' "Skulls" is more metal and less melodic, but it captures the original's morbid exhilaration. "Life On My Own" sounds like the Cro-Mags shot up with HGH and spiked with caveman DNA. And nothing as heavy as "Death Rides a Pale Horse" should be nearly this catchy. But when Stearns sinks an iron hook in your head, you can bet it'll stay there.
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