Gomorra – Divine Judgement (Noble Demon)

Friday, 22nd May 2020
Rating: 8.5/10

Featuring Destruction guitarist Damir Eskic, Gomorra is a five-piece Swiss band balancing out a mix of heavy and power/thrash aspects on their debut full-length record Divine Judgement. It’s always helpful to gain a bit of promotional attention based on proven credibility with a well-established act – now it’s more a question of if these musicians can stand on their own platform based on their skills, songwriting, and abilities. Relying on the veteran knob-twiddling services of V.O. Pulver at Little Creek Studios (Destruction, Burning Witches, Nervosa clients of his) – we get an eleven-track effort that is very tightly focused, keeping things lean, mean, and entertaining.

Those who want some spirited lead breaks and tradeoff activities with melodic harmony extensions will enjoy the work of Damir and fellow axe slinger Dominic Blum – check out “Gomorra” and the semi-groove gallop monster “Cleansing Fire” for fiery action and strong rhythm mechanics. Most of the main foundation as far as sound comes from a traditional/power background – things can be speedy or mid-tempo, but you get the feeling that these musicians prefer to take inspiration from Iron Maiden and Judas Priest while adding in a bit of Annihilator/Metallica crispness to the mix. Check out the quick licks and marching strains for “Flames of Death” as well as the circular, cultural anthemic nature to “The City Must Fall” as two tracks that contain all the right hooks musically and vocally to elicit strong crowd responses. Also a standout is the vocal diversity of Jonas Ambühl – he has a sneering mid-range plus plenty of pipes in the bird-call high falsetto notes that will make many think of a clearer James Hetfield against Rob Halford during “Hope for the Righteous” or the heads down power burner “Angel Amongst Us”. And at a very reasonable 42 minutes playback, Gomorra can’t be accused of exhausting the listener with too much musical information to consume – in fact, this scribe would be curious if on future outings they may consider an epic track as they certainly have all the tools and abilities to achieve that if they desire.

There’s something about high quality acts in Switzerland when it comes to metal – and we may be adding Gomorra to that list quickly if they can maintain the level of professionalism exhibited here right away. Most avid old-timers as well as those loving traditional metal with power, groove and heaviness will find Divine Judgement thoroughly engaging, headbanging, and worthwhile to enjoy.

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