Dim Mak and Phobia…Posted on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006 @ 8:35am » permalink
I've never been a huge fan of New Jersey's Dim Mak for whatever reason, though of course I absolutely respect the significance of vocalist Scott Ruth's and guitarist Shaune Kelley's time in the dreadfully underrated Ripping Corpse (along with former Dim Mak drummer Brandon Thomas – the band now boasts former Angelcorpse, Origin, and Skinless sticksman John Longstreth behind the kit). And speaking of Ripping Corpse, wasn't "Dreaming With the Dead" supposed to be reissued at some point or something? Why the hell hasn't that happened in the last 15 years!? Anyway, I respect the Dim Mak backstory, but for whatever reason I simply haven't listened to their music all that much over the years. That being said, I am glad to see them back in action after the long gap since 2002's "Intercepting Fist", and "Knives of Ice" (released by the mighty Willowtip) is probably their best record to date, at least for my money. Some of the overall songwriting doesn't necessarily grip me (Although the chorus of "Seeing Crows in Silver" sounds almost identical to half of the songs on the first Deicide record, which is awesome!), but I'm certainly a fan of their ultra clean and precise playing, and the shreddingly textured picking patterns and windingly dissonant riffs are right up my alley. As a result I tend find myself wishing they'd focus solely on those types of riffs as opposed to venturing into some less interesting tremolo picking territory, but thankfully those feverishly meaty rhythms are dominant throughout.
I wasn't sure what to make of the recording at first, but now that my ears have adjusted I enjoy certain aspects of it quite a bit. The drums are handled about as efficiently as possible considering the rigidity of the tones alongside the speed of many of the beats, but while I'd still (as usual) prefer a little more warmth there (coupled with more noticeable basslines), the vocals and guitars sound excellent. The guitar tone is especially great because it's got a crispness to it that lets every little nuance of the riffs present itself, and that's perfect for this technical brand of uniquely thrashy/deathy material that's neither quite death metal nor quite thrash!? Go figure. Maybe this will be the record that inches Dim Mak up in my extended listening rotation?
Make the grab if you dig the tunes, and if you plan to buy it, you'd be insane to purchase anywhere other than directly from the label. They're extremely cheap and faster than any other source I've encountered: