Dam - Purity-The Darwinian Paradox - 2005 - Candlelight Records
1. Spiritual Void 2. City of Envy 3. No God With Me 4. Come to Dust 5. Rain 6. Journey Into the Sun 7. Body Temples of Sorrow 8. Fury 9. Intermission 10. Fortunes of Need 11. Frightening and Obscene 12. Forensick Clinicism / The Sanguine Article
What a strange bird Dam proves to be, a comprehensive, rather difficult album to swallow in one session. After repeated listens the flow of the band rears it's head, almost engulfing the listener in a vast, open season of strange brewery and invention. That is the way of the world with "The Darwinian Paradox", the debut release of English based band Dam, a unique group that really can't seem to find a particular place to call home. The "Darwinian Paradox" proves enjoyable and a bit refreshing, however patience is certainly required to fully understand and appreciate this release.
After several demos in the late 90s and early 00s, Dam found the attention of English label Candelight Records. The band have been added to a very diverse roster that includes Pro-Pain, Grand Magus, Entombed, and Kryoburn. Now Dam joins the fold, an extreme band that never seems to stray from one individual thought pattern; to be so completely diverse that the listener gets hooked with the shifting sounds and odd patterns. That is exactly what is at play here with Dam working on an entirely different level from the other competitors. With their debut release the band gets some studio help from Antti Uusimaki (Brian Eno, Barry Adamson), who helps the group co-produce this endeavor.
The monumental achievement here is simply to keep the listener at bay, to allow plenty of room for experimentation but while doing so not to completely confuse the listener. Dam does this well, really holding my valuable attention during the course of these twelve cuts, venturing from the watery depths of 90s era black metal to the most chaotic of German thrashings. Drummer J. Gomez plays the furious madman here, conjuring up one of the best drumming performances on record that I've heard, using sheer talent to work up the odd arrangements and patterns that this band put on display. At times the band recall Samael albums like "Worship Him" and "Blood Ritual", with vocalist Underwood sounding a bit like early Vorph. Other times he changes his register to fit more of a thrash mode, where the music puts on a show best described as At The Gates meets Carcass, even venturing into the grind-core elements of Carcass with a cover of "Forensick Clinicism / The Sanguine Article".
Bottom Line - The band showcase a diverse set that never seems to be forced or rushed. This is a creative vision that simply moves at it's own enjoyable pace no matter what mood or mindset.
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.
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