Dim Mak Knives of Ice

One of the neglected cornerstones of the New Jersey extreme metal scene is Dim Mak. With their third full-length, Knives of Ice, the band have found a new label (cool indie Willowtip) and a new drummer: the mighty John Longstreth (Origin, Angel Corpse). And like with every damn band he’s with, Longstreth steals the show here, even though he seems to be going for a slightly more simplistic approach with his drumming on this disc. While the band are rooted in bottom-heavy death metal, the production isn’t a smothering wall of bass. The vocals aren’t completely low-end either, and the band have some elements of grindcore and enough technical chops to keep things from getting stale. With a tasteful amount of extreme groove thrown in the mix, the band have crafted an enjoyable album. Little bits of excitement keep things interesting, such as in the pretty basic yet really brutal "Great Worm of Hell,” meanwhile album closer "Monolith” is absolutely violent. As a whole, the album does get monotonous and, with the exception of Longstreth’s drumming, this could be one of many, many death metal albums out there. But it’s not one of the boring ones, and when death metal’s not boring it’s pretty fucking awesome. (Willowtip)