Ahead of the release of their debut album Contribute to Chaos, hardcore thrash quartet Donum Dei have revealed their first single, “Murder and Mayhem”. Donum Dei, which translates as “a gift from God” in Latin, have been playing the local metal scene for some time, but are now making the push to cement themselves as one of Belfast’s hardest and fastest metal acts. “Murder and Mayhem” (a title that perhaps goes against the saintly theme of the name of the group) acts as an excellent introduction to the band for those who haven’t seen them live, a boat which I am most definitely in, yet having heard the single, truly wish I wasn’t!
“Murder and Mayhem” plays fantastically, and it can be heard within the track that Donum Dei clearly take heavy influences from the likes of Testament or even 3 Inches of Blood; the furious pace of the track never ceases to let up, bringing with it hard-hitting, almost machine gun-esque drum beats. This is something which I particularly enjoyed from the group’s debut single, with the drums being played in a rapid fire style with brief intervals between them. It adds a real feeling of violence and aggression to the track, something which only strengthens the single as a whole.
Beneath the rough and angry aesthetic of “Murder and Mayhem”, there is a groove, a catchy, repeated riff which remains low throughout the majority of the track, yet is ever-present. Similarly to a volcano however, this groove only bubbles beneath the surface for so long before exploding in a triumphant and intense fashion. Around halfway through the track, “Murder and Mayhem” breaks down, with the vocalist angrily growling, beckoning from the background a powerful and angry sounding riff, proceeding to dominate the rest of the track.
With a single release, Donum Dei have proven themselves to be a band capable of producing some of the most tight-knit and unforgiving thrash to date. If the purpose of “Murder and Mayhem” was to get listeners excited for Contribute to Chaos, then the group have more than successfully achieved their goal.
“Murder and Mayhem” is out now.