Thursday, May 25, 2017

Damaj-The Wrath of the Tide


Damaj is a Scottish heavy metal band that has two EPs to it's name. The self-released "The Wrath of the Tide" is the group's latest one. It shows up four years after the band's debut, "Give Me Time", and features the line-up of Danny Stewart (vox/guitars), James Haggart (lead guitar/backing vocals), David Douglas (bass), and Scott Macleod (drums). Available as a digital download and as a limited-edition CD (link), "The Wrath of the Tide" is the band's first recording with Scott Macleod as well as my first experience with this four year old group. Based on the artwork above I half expected this EP to be epic metal. As the old saying goes "Never judge a book by it's cover". Opening number "The King" is a cross between thrash and really heavy traditional metal. The clean vocals of lead singer Danny gel perfectly with the band's aggressive approach. While the title track pays homage to Iron Maiden and the N.W.O.B.H.M scene, "The Testament of Judas" is every bit as gnarly as "The King". Of the two contrasting styles, thrash metal is where I see this four-piece band truly excelling. Either way though the guitar solos on these first three cuts are dynamite. So are the bass parts and the drumming. When it's comes to straight-up METAL this is a skilled band that knows exactly what it's target audience wants! It's only on the EP's last track that this Scottish four-piece tries something completely different. Clocking in at just shy of six minutes, "The Well of Souls" is a hard and heavy metal piece that places more of an emphasis on rhythm than anything else. There are no real guitar solos to speak of. Instead this last track is compacted hard and heavy metal with a fist in your face attitude! I hate to us the term "nu metal" here, but in a way that is almost what this band strives for. The thing is you would never find a nu metal track like this piece. Whatever you want to call it, "The Well of Souls" works as a number and it adds a bit of variety to what is already a stand up EP. 

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