Sanity: The Lies Of The Father
There are many projects and bands who push the boundaries of what is considered metal, and generally I welcome them wholeheartedly. In the case of this one-man project from North Carolina, Chad Nottingham (AKA Damnum Animus) has created something that can only be described as a black metal movie soundtrack, without the black metal. This being his third major project and first foray into DSBM, a level of maturity comes through in his writing of both lyrics and melodies.
Coming to the music itself, there is a notable absence of guitars, but there is strangely no need for them. The EP makes its mark solely with synth-based orchestral arrangements and programmed drums, as though Varg Vikernes had had access to actual drums during imprisonment. Although the speed is never above mid-tempo, there is a feeling of progression and some semblance of verse-chorus pattern, while the solitary piano intro of the title track provides variety and demonstrates Chad's versatility of musicianship.
As mentioned before, this album takes a lot of influence from Burzum, and Chad also quotes New Zealand DSBM band While Mine Eyes Blacken. Their vocal influence on him is clear, as he delivers a mid-level rasp that is hidden in the shadows of the EP, and yet somehow commands the listener's attention. Lyrical topics deal with religious struggles, purposelessness and heartache, and despite being nothing original in the genre, they fit well with the music and give the songs a firmer sense of structure.
The atmosphere set on the cover is carried through each song as the listener walks through the graveyard, despite the abrupt starts and finishes to the songs. I can mark the title track as my favorite, as it has more of an emotional feel to it, although there are no moments that strike me in particular. Overall, this short three-track EP is an enjoyable piece and well worth checking out. Plus, it's free, so there's no excuse!
~ ~ ~
Angel's rating: 3.5/5