D.A.M.N., or Diary About My Nightmares to give them their full title, is a German death metal band formed in 2001. They have released one self-titled demo in 2005 and one self-released six track album, Vermächtnis, in 2006. This new album, Forbidden Anger, is the band's first release on Unexploded Records and in my mind their best to date.
The first thing that anybody is going to notice about D.A.M.N. is that they have a female vocalist, Antonie Mrusek, so once again the cliché comparisons to Arch Enemy spring to mind. However, Toni's vocals are far more brutal than any that I've heard from the erstwhile Angela Gossow and although the lyrics are slightly less discernible the harsher edge suits the music more.
D.A.M.N. play straight up death metal with a modern edge. The album is at times melodic, but is certainly not melodic death metal as most of the way through it is uncompromisingly brutal. The album begins with Urt La Bu Tal, a two and a half minute instrumental intro that is comprised mainly of a good, mid-paced chugging riff. Its the perfect opener for the album, being heavy and undeniably 'headbangable', before the album steps up a notch on the brutality scale on Lost In Lines. This song sets the pattern for, by and large, the rest of the album really. Forbidden Anger is full of heavy modern death metal with some harsh, growled vocals that will make your face melt. D.A.M.N. aren't afraid to write long songs either with a good chunk of the album being over the six minute mark, but there are some good short tracks too.
There is one track, First Class Suicide, that serves as a nice little interlude between the heavier songs. It is an almost-two and a half minute instrumental with some acoustic guitar and some nice controlled lead over the top. After this its back to the head pounding!
I was really looking forward to hearing this album after hearing Vermächtnis. That album was brutal and although not one of my favourite releases, showed a band that is capable of great things. Forbidden Anger is certainly a step in the right direction. The production is a hundred times better than the Vermächtnis and the songs are all good. For me though it is lacking that 'X factor' that would make it a great album.
I still don't think we've seen the best of D.A.M.N., indeed I'd be surprised if we had at this stage in their career, and I look forward to seeing how this band develops. Forbidden Anger is a good album that should be appreciated by most death metal fans and moshpit maniacs out there.