Damnation A.D.
Share |
Album Releases

In This Life Or The Next
HOME TOWN: Washington D.C.
Colin Kercz - Drums
Michael McTernan - Vocals
Alexander Merchlinsky - Bass
Ken Olden - Guitar

Damnation AD was one of the first bands who arose from the U.S. hardcore scene to almost completely forgo their punk roots in favor of a full-on, heavy-handed, dark-metallic assault similar to the early '90s work of Cleveland, OH's Integrity. Only Mike "DC" McTernan's sharp, biting, shouted vocal style, reminiscent of Rollins-era Black Flag, recalled any sort of punk rock or hardcore aesthetic. This despite the fact that most of the band's members were schooled in D.C.'s dynamic punk scene, and that one of them, primary songwriter/guitarist Ken Olden, doubled in more traditionally minded hardcore outfits Battery (for whom McTernan's brother, producer Brian McTernan, sang) and Better Than a Thousand. Damnation AD started primarily as a studio project, with Olden playing both drums and guitar, and McTernan singing. They cut a couple of singles this way, before recruiting Flying-V touting guitarist/Kirk Hammet-look-alike Hillel Halloway, bassist Alex Merchlinsky, and drummer Dave Ward. Damnation AD (who added the "AD" to avoid confusion with the West Coast punk band) partnered up with Jade Tree Records, releasing a split single with Walleye, and the dark, brooding No More Dreams of Happy Endings full-length album in 1995. Rigorous touring -- often mismatched with hardcore bands like Ignite and Earth Crisis -- saw them struggle to build a fan base that understood them. McTernan and Olden held fast to the straight-edge ideal, often "X'ing" up at shows, though other members were drinkers. This confused some narrow-minded listeners, who liked their bands to be clearly definable by lifestyle, sound, or politics. Despite this, they soldiered onward, releasing the well-received Misericordia CD EP in August 1996. Feeling confined by the decidedly indie rock/punk-oriented Jade Tree, the band signed on with California's Revelation Records, putting out one last full-length, Kingdom of Lost Souls, which featured new drummer Dave Bryson. After Damnation AD split up, Olden continued to work with Better Than a Thousand and opened a recording studio called Monster Island; McTernan studied tattooing, then moved to Richmond, VA; Holloway joined forces with a metal band called Black Manta; Merchlinsky studied design at the Maryland Institute in Baltimore; and Ward relocated to Los Angeles, CA.