Dim Mak - Knives of Ice
Knives of Ice is easily the best death metal cd I've heard all year. I wasn't expecting much less whenI heard the mighty Jon Longstreth (Origin, Exhumed, Red Chord, Dying Fetus, Skinless) was holding down the skins and heard the two tracks posted on www.willowtip.com . Many people also link Dim Mak to Ripping Corpse. Ex-Ripping Corpse members yes, but this band is most certainly does not imitate Ripping Corpse. Let's start from the ground up. Three words: John fucking Longstreth. Everybody thought his work on Origin's Informis Infinitas Inhumanis was painstakingly precise and fast, and he blows all his other recordingsaway with his performance on Knives of Ice. The sheer speed and control of the kit is astounding, but he alsoshows good judgement to get away from blasting and huge amounts of double bass at some points, something that hurts a lot of DM bands (Hate Eternal, Origin). To match oustanding playing, the drum production is bludgeoning but clear.
The guitars and bass are all over the fret board, vicious, always changing, always brutal. These riffs are not technical in a self serving manner, nor do they use menaderingchromaticism for the sake of atonality, these riffs are so dark and vicious that they couldn't have been madefrom smashing together low notes, they are the work of evil genius and demented craftmanship, unsettling andso satisfying at the same time.
The vocals aren't a growl and they aren't a raspy scream, they fall somewhere in between, having much more character, power, and depth than both. The only thing I could possibly compare them to is Mike from Burnt By The Sun on "Soundtrack to the personal Revolution" at his most brutal (if you don't have that album, I strongly recommend it). The lyrics are interesting and not some random rubble about hailing his abyssmal mightor having intercourse with sharp objects. They are dark and necrotic to be sure, but very well written and astoundingly not cheesy.