Damnum Animus – Sanity: The Lies of the Father (Tex's Review)
I find myself constantly bitching about bands that overuse synths to the point of the guitars and bass no longer serving any purpose in the music other than to “be metal”. I do love epic synths in my metal, but even some great bands like Summoning or Rhapsody, while making great music, can really overdo it and sometimes render the use of guitar rather pointless. Damnum Animus seems to have solved this problem by ditching the guitars altogether and completely focusing on the synth!
All the riffs and melodies on this demo are comprised of layers and layers of synth that blend together to create a wall of epic, sorrowful sound. The lack of guitars lends all the layers of synth some room to breathe and the result is a very airy, almost majestic sound. I do feel some guitar could have served to beef up the overall sound and add a bit of edge to the songs, but its absence isn’t missed much, and this demo most certainly still sounds “metal” to my ears without it.
The vocals are pretty low in the mix and soaked in reverb, nothing out of place for an ambient black metal release. However, they sound more professional than a lot of underground one-man bands, as does the sound of pretty much everything on this demo.
The compositions ebb and flow nicely, almost hypnotically, much like the aforementioned Summoning and band cited influence Burzum. However, all three songs are at the same tempo with the same basic drum beat with little variation. The mood also changes very little throughout the demo, aside from the last track “The Lies of the Father” which is decidedly more “evil” sounding. So, while the music here is well thought out and composed and nice to listen to, the songs do sound too similar to each other and seem to blend together, and not in a particularly good way. The songs also start and end rather abruptly, which can be jarring in an otherwise dreamy listening experience.
Overall, this is really good ambient black metal / dark ambient / whateverthefuckyouwanttocallit. If you’re a fan of this style, it’s certainly worth checking out. Some more variety in textures, melodies, tempo and mood would be appreciated, but it’s still a good piece of ambient, synth driven metal.