Album Review: Danmaku – Turn up the Gas
[Today marks the first writing performance of a new face on our block: Robert, a.k.a. toreignimmortal! He drops in his review of the debut record, titled Turn up the Gas, of UK Thrashers Danmaku today. Thumbs up for both a great review and some great music!]
Artist: Danmaku (UK)
Album: Turn up the Gas (2011)
Genre: Thrash Metal, Death Metal
Looking at the name and album cover, one might quickly shove this record aside when confronted with it. But don’t misjudge this, because this, my friend, is not an obscure, one-in-a-dozen Thrash band from nowhere. I tell you. This is quality British Thrash Metal!
Comprising of guitarist Paul Harrington (Anaal Nathrakh), singer Mike Pilat (The Ocean, ex-Hospital of Death) and guitarist Stuart Pendergast, (Hospital of Death), this is expected to be a head-on Thrash machine, and that’s what it is. These guys are intense.
The front cover perfectly describes what this band is all about: a rough ride on a blood-covered tank of death.
Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Pantera, Cynic, Death and Meshuggah have all influenced this band, and mainly the first two clearly shine through the songs, without them becoming plain copies. Especially the lead guitars are influenced by different playing styles of different Megadeth guitarist’s and the rhythm guitars are reminiscent of Hetfield’s playing. To be honest, I believe this album would come close to what Metallica would’ve sounded if they threw out Lars Ulrich instead of Dave Mustaine.
This band simply takes the best of both bands and uses it as seasoning for their raw meat. So if you’re a fan of one band, but you can’t get into the other, this is the music you need.
Generally, our Thrash machine is well oiled, the songs are rock-solid and fast. The lead work is excellent and Pendergast surely knows what he’s doing. The rhythm guitars are also up to par. They are not only lightning-fast, but also very heavy and saturated. The vocals are made up out of a mixture of Hardcore vocals and Hetfieldian vocals, which especially comes forward in “Times of Ignorance”.
However, now comes the one problem I have with this album. There’s no depth in the vocals, which makes the music loose its third dimension and fade to the background. It doesn’t grab you by the throat, like it should. I really have to focus and listen to the music, if I want to hear these beastly riffs and tight drums.
Over the previous few paragraphs I’ve named several similarities with other bands, musicians and genres, but the music is far from unoriginal. As I’ve stated before, this is simply the seasoning. Underneath this cover is the Death machine this band actually is: heavy, fast, tight and rhythmic. This monster makes no compromises.
The negative sides to this album are limited. Yes, this album is short, only 38 minutes, but breaking your neck doesn’t take long either. Yes, the vocals don’t grab you right at the moment, but the rest of the music just makes you forget about this, when you brutally bang your head against the wall.
My Grade: 8.5/10
Buy this when:
- you like Megadeth or Metallica (which means that you need to buy it, because every Metalhead likes either of the two)
- you have a spare neck
- you need a break from any form of music which is slow, boring and doesn’t involve any amount of skill
[Robert also included a track suggestion with his review; a song called Our Likely Host. We wholeheartedly approve of its Thrash-thick brutality!]