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Purity - The Darwinian Paradox

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Album Review

The death metal/black metal field didn't originate in Scandinavia any more than the blues originated in Chicago or jazz in New York City. But just as the Windy City turned into a blues Mecca and the Big Apple became the home of so many jazz giants, the Scandinavian countries ended up dominating the death metal/black metal market. Nonetheless, it's important to remember that many of the important early death metal bands came from the United States (Slayer, Death) and England (Carcass). And while Scandinavia's importance to the genre is undeniable, it isn't as though extreme metal has ceased to exist in either North America or Great Britain. London is the home of Dam, a death metal/black metal crew that favors a hammer-to-the-skull approach on their first official, full-length U.S. release, Purity: The Darwinian Paradox. Although Dam has been around since 1997 and circulated some demos in the late '90s and early 2000s, this 2005 release marked the first time they recorded a full-length album that had "real" distribution in the U.K. and the United States — and while Purity isn't a five-star masterpiece, it's generally decent. This CD should not be categorized as either "melodic death metal" or "symphonic black metal"; while those closely related styles represent a more musical and melodic vision of these styles , Purity is strictly an exercise in skull-crushing brutality. It's true that Dam changes tempos a lot — they aren't grindcore — but then, having a lot of tempo changes doesn't automatically make a band melodic. Whatever the tempo, this CD is about intense, extreme, over the top exhilaration rather than intricacy or musicality. Purity is mildly uneven, but overall, it's a noteworthy demonstration of the fact that headbangers shouldn't write off non-Scandinavian countries as far as death metal/black metal is concerned.

Purity - The Darwinian Paradox, DAM
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