Damim – A Fine Game Of Nil

A Fine Game Of Nil Cover

Damim – A Fine Game Of Nil
Apocalyptic Witchcraft Recordings
Release Date: 28/06/2019
Running Time: 42:40
Review by ‘Dark Juan’
10/10

It is Saturday night in rural France. The local gossips have returned to their homes after disseminating all possible information to the entire village, and probably have been strapped back into their scold’s bridles by the husbands who are STILL covering up twenty year old affairs of the heart with the lady on the Rue de Ty Lidec. I, Dark Juan, The Gothfather, Love Commando and Sex Fuhrer to toffs and gentry, am sitting, beer in hand and having my face torn clean off by this piece of SAVAGERY masquerading as music entitled “A Fine Game Of Nil” by British neo-blackened metallers Damim – Damim being Arabic/Aramaic for bloodshed, I believe. That’s about the only useful fact you’ll get out of this stream of consciousness bollocks you’re about to read, so treasure it, ok?

First of all, I have to say the production work on this record is extremely satisfying, almost to the point of orgasm. Everything is so crystal fucking clear the band might as well be sat in my head battering the inside of my cranium with high powered amplification and pneumatic drills. However this is ultra-precise savagery, because Damim as musicians are tighter than a duck’s arse, and probably considerably more waterproof because they write huge, coruscating songs of complexity, power and depth and play them at a speed that Formula One drivers would struggle to comprehend. There are many key changes and time changes but nothing of the music, even when it’s flitting from one tempo to another, is extraneous. The musical progressions are logical and impressive and it all fits together like a particularly complex heavy fucking metal jigsaw puzzle. Special mention must also go to Nathanael Underwood for his vocals – a primeval, visceral roar that appears to have come from the bowels of some previously undiscovered hell found underneath the foundations of Satan’s bit of it, yet retaining clarity and having words that are actually discernible as they are being sung! This is a momentous feat in death and blackened metal so bonus points to you, old chap!

Normally it just sounds like bears vomiting. Not that all this talk of intelligence, complicated musicianship and socially conscious lyrics should distract you from the fact that this is the dog’s testicles from a sheer metal point of view. There’s blastbeats and brutality in spades. It’s not a battlewagon of a record, it’s a sleek and shiny supersonic jet fighter of one. It’s blindingly fast and sharp and operates precision guided weaponry, and YOU are the target. Damim are out to kill you all with laser-guided accuracy.

So, compositionally exquisite, vocally exemplary and velocity unmatched! There has to be a downside, right? Well, fucking good luck finding one, mate. Damim are a phenomenally intelligent band. The lyrics are pertinent and relevant to events in the world today and even the album title alludes to zero sum game theory. Look it up, it’s actually genuinely fascinating. I love this record so much I have ruined yet more underwear and had to pause in my libertine pursuits of alcohol, laudanum and abusing young ladies to reflect on the sheer majesty and magnificence of what I have just heard. In fact, I have finished the record and literally just pressed play again to start over. It appears I want my face to look like burger meat, considering Damim are flaying it off bit by bit. Favourite tracks on here are ‘Beyond The Call Of Emptiness’, and the hilariously named ‘Something For The Weekend’. It’s hilarious because the song title seems so out of keeping with the rest of the record, OK? I also really like ‘NecroKino’, a tune that the intro reminds me greatly of the synthwave stylings of groups like Gunship offer before pulling out hidden weapons and proceeding to skin you alive with diamond sharp guitars and drums that can cause tectonic misery. The other titles skirt perilously close to one of my favourite sources of comedy – heavy metal word salad song titles. As we shall shortly see!

In short then – if you love extreme metal you’ll fucking love this. If, on the other hand, you think metal begins and ends with Avenged Sevenfold you’ll hate it so much you’ll savagely murder your own parents. “A Fine Game Of Nil” is PROOF that metal is one of the most phenomenally complex styles of music to play and also one of the most difficult to master. Damim have fucking mastered it, made it their collective bitch and are currently beating it into further compliance with flails and chains and all manner of unspeakable other things. The thing is, I am of the opinion that this record is that good that it might win a few converts from the less extreme fans, because although it is brutal deluxe, faster than a trip to the lavatory after a dodgy curry and heavier than a neutronium sex toy, it somehow STILL remains accessible and approachable. Damim have done something remarkable. They have made music bordering on black metal interesting again (which is not easily done as there hasn’t been a proper good black metal record since “Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk”) and also made it something even a new convert could enjoy instead of just the hardened heavy metal warrior. There’s much to enjoy as parts of the music touch on other styles like djent, the odd riff progression has a whiff of nu-metal about it and there is a thrash element running throughout the whole thing. I also think having an excellent production job will also win fans considering most extreme metal sounds like it has been recording using candy floss and asbestos as filters and recorded through the wall next door.

Anyway. A splendid effort from these gentlemen! I’m serious when I say that I consider this to be the album of the year so far. I fucking love it.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System offers Damim a blood soaked and thoroughly gore coated 10/10. Extraordinarily good! I have run out of words.

TRACKLISTING:
01. In A Language They Understand
02. Descendant Of Amalek (If you don’t know, Amalek is described in the Hebrew Bible as a country that is an enemy of the Israelites It can also be referring to the nation’s founder, the grandson of Esau. You’re welcome. Just because I despise religion as social control doesn’t mean I haven’t studied the scriptures.)
03. Beyond The Call Of Emptiness (Surely emptiness can’t call? Because it’s like… empty?)
04. Something For The Weekend
05. NecroKino
06. Body Is Broken
07. Rising Of The Lights
08. Existential Epiphany Within A Waking Dream (The only existential things I get during waking dreams are crises…)
09. All I Want To Know Is (what the rest of this title is because my computer is refusing to tell me. Sorry, chaps.) – (RICK HERE, the full title is ‘All I Want To Know Is How It Ends’)

LINE-UP:
Nathanael Underwood – Vocals and guitars
Flow Toulman – Drums
Faust Perez – Bass
Edd Amos – Guitars

LINKS:
https://www.damim.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/dam.nation.uk/

https://www.instagram.com/damim_uk/

https://www.youtube.com/user/vacuusanimum

 

Damim Photo - Credit Tina Korhonen

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dark Juan and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Photo courtesy of Tina Korhonen.

 

Kill All The Gentlemen – The Loss And The Rapture

The Loss And The Rapture Cover

Kill All The Gentlemen – The Loss And The Rapture
Sliptrick Records
Release Date: 22/11/2018
Running Time: 39:37
Review by ‘Dark Juan’
8/10

Greetings, neophytes, zelators and the mildly curious about the occult activities of the Left Hand Path. It is I, the Groove Ipssisimus Dark Juan here to give you the “benefit” of my wisdom about many things: One of them might even be what I’m supposed to be writing about, but to be honest I think you might be shit out of luck on that score today, and possibly for the rest of the week. Mainly because it has been that hot here I haven’t been able to do anything apart from lie on the cool tiled floor of the lounge, bemoan the French government for allowing this heatwave to happen and curse Satan for not shutting the back door to hell behind me after I kicked him in his nefarious big red balls and fucked off after he dared to suggest my soul belongs to him. As far as I am concerned, you have to have a soul in order for it to belong to anyone, and the twisted, foetid little black knot of unspeakable rage that lives in my chest does not qualify as a soul. More a weapon. Anyway, I am sat (sitting would be the correct grammar, according to my guest who has just left to go skiing in the Alps. He’s a lawyer and went to a very exclusive school where they taught him Latin and stuff. My Dying Bride taught me Latin – Incendere suus, damnare suus vita. Dare suus ad art ventus) in my Fourth Invocation Robes (Summer Weight (Refrigerated)) dying slowly of dehydration whilst simultaneously drinking as much alcohol as I can cram down my avid throat whilst I listen to Kill All The Gentlemen’s latest offering, entitled “The Loss And The Rapture” (Phew, we got to it in the end. Well done for sticking with me this far…) This band is based in England, more specifically Exeter in Devon, although I am privately convinced that at least two members of the band are NOT Devonian by birth. I shall leave you, dear reader, to work out who they might be.

Disclaimer – My Fourth Invocation Robes (Summer Weight) are a lie. I’m wearing green pyjama pants with Animal from the Muppets on them, black and white striped espadrilles and a not wholly unironic Spinal Tap t-shirt. This is because I have had a high concentration of supreme quality metal recently and because of sex wees, trouser explosions and sheer excitement coupled with being of a certain age I have single-handedly created a Breton underwear drought. Hence with the expectation of this being a rather splendid slab of depleted uranium heaviness, I have elected to eschew pants. No tighty whities for Dark Juan!

I am not disappointed with the heaviness. This is not music. It is an avalanche with some poor fucker on skis in front of it. It is brutality and violence in musical form. This is A VERY GOOD THING. I know I rattle on about melody and quality tunesmithing, but there are times you (I, certainly) just want to have your brain turned to soup. KATG are rather good at this, but to write them off as just a kind of fairly generic death/ extreme metal band is to not pay sufficient attention to them. The title track of this record is a FUCKING GLORIOUS THING THAT EVERY SINGLE METAL FAN SHOULD HAVE A COPY OF BY ORDER OF DARK JUAN YOU FUCKING BUNCH OF BASTARD PHILISTINES!!!!!! It is almost prog in its complexity, with light and dark and fucking loud and quiet and vocals that range from the chilling whisper you get in your ear a split second before the brandished steel blade is drawn across your throat and your lifeblood pumps from you in minutes, to the kind of open throated roar that normally emanates from a giant, radioactive lizard intent on razing Japanese cities to the ground. It is a roar you should never play at any volume in San Francisco as you will just seismically stimulate the San Andreas Fault into an early earthquake. Well done, Kill All The Gentlemen; you have turned a beautiful 1920s city by the sea into a massive fucking Lovecraftian hole simply by the power of your heavy fucking metal. This is behaviour that needs to be encouraged. Can you please do the same to the bunch of Jesus freaks and all round unpleasant cock juggling thundercunts that are the Westboro Baptist Church, please? I might have a highly illegal and possibly unstable cache of trinitrotoluene secreted somewhere nearby should you need some explosive assistance… The album as a whole is a solid and powerful piece of speedy, sharpened metal with a bass sound that reminded me greatly of the 80’s British thrash band Acid Reign. The opening cut on this record, ‘I Welcome The Horror’ has the potential to be a minor classic, starting with the kind of music that you would expect from 80’s Italian horror films before Adam Martin howls, “It’s coming…… NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWW!” and you are led down a spiky, flesh ridden, blood-soaked rabbit hole of metal brutality seldom experienced from British bands. It is a fine song and it is representative of the whole record. It is speedy and powerful and jolly good fun if you like mosh pits and losing your teeth while cannoning off other people intent on changing their own dentistry. All the songs are exciting, solid slabs of granite hard heavy metal underpinned with the prodigious roar of the estimable Mr. Martin. The title track is far and away my favourite on the record though, as it stands head and shoulders above the rest for quality, interest and ability. This is not to say that the rest of the record is bad because it really isn’t! ‘These Are Godless Times’ is another absolute stormer of a song and hopefully destined for permanent airplay on many record stations.

In short then, KATG have shaken me out of a post visit bout of existential misery, but they have also caused me to cane the gin and tonic and now I’m wankered all over again.

Thank you, gentlemen, thank you.

A fine, fine record then. Give them your readies and buy their records.

The Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System has been quaffing many alcoholic beverages during the course of this album and awards it a splendidly squiffy 8/10. Well worth your effort, though. British metal is back on the up!

TRACKLISTING:
01. I Welcome The Horror
02. Sing For Me Sinner
03. Where Here Is I Know Not
(Could be the Dark Juan theme tune! We went to La Gacilly for a photographic exhibition yesterday. Got lost twice. The Volkswaffe doesn’t have sat nav, which made opportunities for deflowering virgins and subverting the Church tricky as we were on the minutes. I had to content myself with telling a nun she worshipped a false god and she needed cock…)
04. These Are Godless Times (Well, I am doing my best! Burn down a church!)
05. Death’s Very Emissary (Oh yes, that IS me…)
06. The Loss And The Rapture
07. Damnation Be My Guide
08. Once A Slave
(NEVER A FUCKING SLAVE! DARK JUAN WILL ACHIEVE DOMINION OVER ALL!!! Probably to a soundtrack of Kill All The Gentlemen.)

LINE-UP:
Adam Martin – Vocals/Guitar
Christian Axsel – Guitar/Backing Vocals
Thomas Arne Rørstad – Drums
Ben Andrew – Bass
Drums on the album recorded by Olan Parkinson

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/killallthegentlemen/

https://www.instagram.com/katgband/
https://killallthegentlemen.bigcartel.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCHlWuQVXpl8ZloY1-CXQNQ

 

Promo Pic1

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dark Juan and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.