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Dimman – Song and Tales of Grievance

Song and Tales of Grievance
by Mark Machlay at 21 September 2021, 6:51 AM

After a lengthy six years of releasing Eps, the Finnish melodic death metal band DIMMAN released their debut full-length “Song and Tales of Grievance” on July 30th, 2021. The band was founded in 2014 in Seinäjoki, Finland and before 2019, featured no female vocals. The band was originally a five-piece consisting of bassist Elias Halkola, lead guitarist Jaakko Yli-Sorvari, rhythm guitarist Mikael Haapala, vocalist Vaktteri Halkola, and drummer Arto Pieksämäki. After their first couple of Eps – “Poltetun Veden Pinta” in 2015, and “Guide My Fury” in 2017 – in which Halkola was the main vocalist and sang mostly harsh vocals, they expanded to a six-piece for 2019’s “152”, adding clean vocals provided by guest singer Jenna Kohtala. Soon after, the band found that the ability to contrast darkness and light with the “beauty and the beast”, give and take variety of vocals styles was something they wanted to incorporate more and develop.

As a result, for the bands full-length debut, “Song and Tales of Grievance”, DIMMAN returned to Santeri Peltomäki at Entropy Mixing who recorded, mixed and mastered their previous EP. The only change being the drums were recorded at Studio Watercastle by Arttu Sarvanne. The album itself deals with many complicated issues, addressing all the grievances and insecurities that cause misery to both individuals and communities. The incapability to be able to affect the injustices resulting in frustration, which can be heard from every song on the album. The band released their first single “Paraxysm” on April 13th, earning them many new followers. Lead guitarist Jaakko Yli-Sorvari says of the single, “’Paroxysm’ showcases all the elements DIMMAN is made of. Beautiful melodies, heavy riffing and technical musicianship are all married together forming a catchy soundscape.

“Paraxysm” tells the story of human arrogance and the clouding of one’s judgement” The “beauty and the beast” style of clean and harsh vocals has gone through a lot of good and bad examples over the years, but there seems to be something special that DIMMAN’s “Songs and Tales of Grievance” firmly in the “good” category. I’ve always been partial to that early Gothenburg style adopted by early IN FLAMES and DARK TRANQUILITY that hit the “bad ass” part of my personality and since the band were already on that path before bringing in the female clean vocals provided by Kohtola, they get bonus points from me. It’s interesting that in most of heavier bits the band felt the need to double and harmonize her vocal parts, but I especially like the intimate moment we get near the end of “Contretemps” in which things settle down for a bit, and it’s just a single vocal line in which Kohtola can still show such strength and power. First single “Paraoxysm” shows a band sound that is a bit disjointed with synths coming in and out, getting heavy and quiet and even opting for even a speed metal style. But it has great guitar leads and the drums and riffs land with excellent aplomb so it works but I would have gone with the more coherent “Obscenity” which has a more linear style while still portraying a softer side with a beautiful solo piano flourish and a better interweaving of the dual vocal style. Overall, its’s an album that should be judged as a whole rather than the few singles that were released and certainly a band to which attention should be paid.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Ambuscade
2. Paroxysm
3. Obscenity
4. Conretemps
5. Morbus
6. Progradation
7. Imprudence
8. Memoria
9. Umbra
10. The Mist
Elias Halkola – Bass & Vocals
Jaakko Yli-Sorvari – Guitars
Mikael Haapala – Guitars
Vaktteri Halkola – Vocals
Jenna Kohtala – Vocals
Arto Pieksämäki – Drums
Record Label: Inverse Records


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