Album Reviews

Album review: Dimman – Songs And Tales Of Grievance

It is well-known that Scandinavian metal bands do not have the reputation of being the worst of their kind. At least since the success of Nightwish, people get excited when the talk is of a Finnish, female fronted metal band. But if you listen carefully, the band Dimman, founded in 2014 in Seinäjoki, Finland, doesn’t have much in common with classic symphonic metal. Instead, the band is more likely to be located in the genre of melodic death metal. Comparisons with bands like Amaranthe or Arch Enemy are more appropriate here, although it is difficult to draw direct connections, as I consider Dimman’s music to be quite independent and unique.

However, the six-headed band describes their musical style as „modern melodic death metal“. After the two EP’s „Guide My Fury“ (2017) and „152“ (2019), the first full-length album „Songs And Tales Of Grievance“ was released on July 30. The album consists of 10 songs with a total running time of around 42 minutes. The cover artwork is relatively inconspicuous, but this does not apply to the musical content, which is definitely remarkable. In terms of the content, the band declares that „the album addresses all the grievances and insecurities that cause misery to both individuals and communities, which can be heard from every song on the album“. And they do not lie. 

Another trademark of Dimman is surely the female/male alternate singing by Jenna Kohtala, who joined the band in 2019, and Valtteri Halkola, responsible for the characteristic and impressive growls. This vocal combination reminds me of Amaranthe in places, but in my opinion, things are a bit tougher at Dimman. This can already be heard on the explosive opener „Ambuscade“, which appears to be a straight and fast-paced wrecking ball that gives a taste of what to expect. It becomes clear that the vocal duo is well-rehearsed, and the variation of the voices is an integral part of the band’s basic musical structure. In this context, I was a bit surprised to find out that Jenna is not a trained classical vocalist and all band members are self-trained.

The second song „Paroxysm“ was released as a single in advance and convinces me above all with a strong vocal performance by Jenna. The sound of her voice is undoubtedly recognizable, especially since she apparently has a considerable vocal range. Maybe her best vocal performance here, as well as one of the best songs on the album. „Obscenity“ follows, again a pre-released single. Through the variety of instruments, a chorus that goes straight to the ear and demanding guitar work, this song represents the album quite well. „Contretemps“ also knows how to please. I particularly like the quieter middle section, and the same applies to the catchy chorus. 

„Morbus“ is a solid song in which the male vocal parts are clearly dominant, but Jenna also indicates once more what vocal abilities she has. The song is completed with cleverly inserted piano arrangements. Well done! 

Further tips for listening are „Imprudence“ and the ballad „Memoria“, which becomes faster and more intense as it progresses. Also, the varied „Umbra“ sounds playful and proves the creativity of the band. The album’s finisher is the melodic and atmospheric „The Mist“, the longest song with a playing time of over 6 minutes. I really like the slow and quiet ending of the album. 

Musically, the album leaves a cohesive impression as a unit. It sounds innovative and offers strong well-coordinated voices and musical arrangements. Dimman does not reinvent the genre, but sounds somehow different from other comparable bands. In addition, there are some catchy riffs, demanding guitar solos, melodic choruses and piano arrangements that don’t seem out of place at any point but rather contribute to the variability of Dimman’s musical style. „Songs And Tales Of Grievance“ doesn’t reveal any worth mentioning weak points, and besides a strong song material, there is also a fine, powerful production. All in all, I have noticed an excellent debut album by a talented and creative band that we will hopefully hear a lot from in the future.

ALBUM REVIEW (14)

Release date: July 30, 2021
Label: Inverse Records
Rating: 8/10

01. Ambuscade
02. Paroxysm
03. Obscenity
04. Contretemps
05. Morbus
06. Progradation
07. Imprudence
08. Memoria
09. Umbra
10. The Mist

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