Damnation A.D. 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 A.D. 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 Hammett-lookalike Hillel Halloway, bassist Alex Merchlinsky, and drummer Dave Ward. Damnation A.D. (who added the "A.D." 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.