Dãm - The Difference Engine review
|Album:||The Difference Engine|
|Release date:||January 2007|
01. The Difference Engine
04. Mirror-Image Ritual
05. Made Of Beasts
06. Gangrene. Purulence. Impact
07. A Wound That Never Heals
08. New Quest
09. This Has Nothing To Do With Apathy
Beware: potential excessive fanboyism ahead. Put on your adjective nullifying goggles now.
I can't remember exactly when it was I stumbled on Dãm but I'm certainly glad that I did. I was becoming a little tired of death metal as a whole and felt it was in need of a serious "freshness" injection and with their highly regarded debutPurity: The Darwinian Paradox I'd found the perfect remedy.
Dãm's signature sound is one of fairly heavy and dense persuasion, often imbued with a purposefully blackened ethos with Underwood's sandpaper vocals effortlessly meeting the music head on, brimming with hardcore acerbic might. Though their debut is a stonking good record (and one that should be explored unquestionably) with The Difference Engine there's tangible sense of improvement and refinement in almost every fashion; proffering a sense of balance that often eluded its predecessor the result is an exceptionally cohesive and tight arrangement with some very clever song structuring. A common issue with bands that experiment is the tendency to be left with flimsy ideas, loose and unfinished sections and a general sense of incompleteness; not the case here. And though they purport to derive influence from a considerable number of sources (Suffocation, Carcass, Emperor apparently) the fact remains that those influences have been ingested in such a totalitarian manner that you'd have quite the task in pointing out the clear distinctions: Dãm have truly carved a niche for themselves in the death metal circuit. But where their talent truly shines through is their ability to display seemingly bruising complexity whilst never abandoning a sense of flow, melody and variation; there's no tech-death wankery on display here, just excellent songwriting.
Though each track takes on its own curious personality, "Gangrene, Purulence, Impact" is probably the poster-child of the album; a cheeky pinch harmonic blasts you into sledgehammer-driven drums and riffs, breakneck thrashy onslaughts, winding hooks and a quick sweeping solo (an unusual endeavor for them) before spitting you out the other end, bleary-eyed and probably sporting a discernible semi. A few songs later and the instrumental "New Quest" fellates you with atmospheric harmonies before climaxing on the decidedly sludgy "This Has Nothing To Do With Apathy."
I hold The Difference Engine in the highest regard and would love to see this enjoyed by more people, especially as their cavalcade of music tackles both the heavier and more melodic side of death metal; there's definitely room for fans of melodic death here, as well as the more extreme, Portal, end of the spectrum. So get your groove on folks.
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