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Damim - A Fine Game of Nil

Damin
A Fine Game of Nil
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 12 July 2019, 6:31 AM

Drawing a visceral deathly tones into the twisted metal sculpture, DAMIM celebrate the absurdity of existence with uncommon, immediate and unique poignancy. Building on the strength of 2007’s “The Difference Engine,” London purveyors of cathartic existential outrage DAMIM (feat Nathanael Underwood, ex-AKERKOCKE) have recently unleashed their new album, titled “A Fine Game Of Nil.” Mixed by Neil Kernon, “A Fine Game Of Nil” was released digitally, on vinyl & CD via Apocalyptic Witchcraft Recordings worldwide, this 28 June 2019. The album contains nine tracks.

“In a Language they Understand” leads off the album…with a Blackened Thrash Metal sound. The production is somewhat muted to give it that old school feeling. But the riff is pretty basic…at least, at first, then it ventures out into uncharted territory, as the drums and vocals rage together.  “Descendent of Amalek” opens with a slower grind. Amalek is described in the Hebrew Bible as an enemy of the Israelites. The song itself, suffers from an overused riff that can become quite repetitive. The vocal performance is strong however…Nathan puts his all into the vocals for sure.

“Beyond the Call of Emptiness” opens with a clean vocal sequence and a slightly slower pace, before the time changes kick in. It’s hard to follow, and even harder to compose I am sure. There is a dissonant quality to the music here, and it’s clear that these guys create their own path into the world of Metal. “Something for the Weakened” opens with a slow crawl, before the main riff kicks in. Heavy and discordant, this is Extreme Metal done with a twist. “Necrokrino” gives us that first glimpse of melody but it doesn’t last long, as ominous tones begin to build behind that opening wall of pretty keys. It isn’t until the half way mark until the song explodes. It’s a fascinating instrumental with a heightened sense of skilled songwriting.

“Body is Broken” opens with an energetic but dissonant riff. They remind of GOJIRA at times…especially considering the vocals. The riffs venture out a bit more than GOJIRA but they have a similar structure. “What will you do when your body is broken?” he pleas. “Rising of the Lights” is an exercise in agony. The vocals echo some serious pain and anger, as do the pig squeals in the guitars. “Existential Epiphany within a Waking Dream” opens with some trippy sounding clean guitars and a dreamy atmosphere. There is some soft whispering in the background. It’s these types of diversions that make an album strong. Too much of one sound can beat you over the head.

“All I Want to Know is How it Ends” closes the album, with more dissonant and eerie guitars. It is really free flowing and does not follow a conventional structure at all. They pull it off, but at what cost? In other words, music can be unstructured and unconventional, and you can marvel at their musicianship, but did it take away from the album being enjoyable in the end? Somewhat. The two odd songs out however were very enjoyable. The rest was just a bit too much for me. But, it’s original, I will give you that. If you are a fan of Extreme Metal, I would recommend you give it a go.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 9
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. In a Language they Understand
2. Descendent of Amalek
3. Beyond the Call of Emptiness
4. Something for the Weakened
5. Necrokino
6. Body is Broken
7. Rising with the Lights
8. Existential Epiphany within a Waking Dream
9. All I Want to Know is How it Ends
Lineup:
Nathan – Vocals, Guitar
Flow – Drums
Edd – Guitar
Faust – Bass
Record Label: Apocalyptic Witchcraft
     


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