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Review: Hak-Ed Damm - Black Tortured Metal
Hak-Ed Damm
Black Tortured Metal

Label: Independent
Year released: 2008
Duration: 35:00
Tracks: 8
Genre: Black Metal


Review online: July 18, 2008
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.79/5 (75.71%) (14 Votes)

Hak-Ed Damm.  Odd name for a band hailing from Quebec City (it means "Field of blood" in old Hebrew.)  Black Tortured Metal is the band's first demo, and as the name implies, what's being delivered to our ears here is some raw and (to some extent) violent Black Metal.  It took me a few listens to get into this - at first it sounded a little too same-y, one-dimensional.  But more attentive listens allowed for the discovery of a few discreet subtleties (maybe a little too subtle - but let's keep in mind that this is a demo.)  What leads the way here pretty much from start to finish are some vicious, torturous vocals that are literally barked at the listener by vocalist ZoKvist- "barked BM screeches", I guess.  Very fitting for a rather minimalistic yet disciplined approach to Black Metal, with wank-free guitars that relentlessly hammer away with little variation (save for the aforementioned subtleties that pop up here and there).  Despite being mostly fast paced (but still with enough mid paced parts - where the band throw in a little more varied playing), the drummer has thankfully spared us the usual barrage of blast beats and pretty much sticks to some good old drumming and does a damn good job too - some good drum parts can be found here and there amidst this onslaught.

The album opens with war march-styled drums with Gregorian chants, and ends with an organ piece, both a sharp contrast to what's sandwiched in between them.  Hak-Ed Damm have the music quite right, but I found that it often sounds a little too "mechanical", lacking a bit of atmosphere - the instruments are being played and that's that, save for a couple of tracks where they manage to make the music more "felt" than "just played".  Still, Black Tortured Metal is a damn good first demo for a band formed just last year, and there might be good things coming from Hak-Ed Damm, hopefully sooner rather than later.

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