Swedish metal collective Dampf have certainly hit the ground running with a their opening statement of intent, The Arrival. The project is the brainchild of Martin ‘E-Type’ Erikson, who, despite featuring as drummer in Maninnya Blade and Hexenhaus as a drummer back in the day, actually made his fortune as a Eurodance singer/songwriter/producer. Maybe the correlation isn’t such a strange one in 2022, as you can certainly hear the influence of E-Type hits like Eurofighter on the music of bands like Metalite and Amaranthe to name but two…
Anyways, Dampf is the sound of Erikson’s return to metal, and very nice it is too. Tracks like Twilight Eyes see him at his closest to his dance music past in the use of glittering synth figures and a banging Eurovision chorus, but elsewhere our hero runs the full gamut of everything that’s selling well in modern metal, from Rammstein to Ghost and back again. It’s a pleasing mashup of styles and moods, but, for all the mixing and matching that’s going on the listener never feels they are being made to listen to something that’s contrived or forced. Hence at one moment you’re wallowing in the film noire soundtrackery of Goie Mie, a tale of nefarious activities on the Amsterdam waterfront and a song that wouldn’t go amiss on a Dark Sarah album, the next banging your head enthusiastically to the Johan Hegg-assisted power metal mayhem of From The E-ternity.
So, that’s all the bases neatly covered; however you get the feeling the band are going to have to narrow their theatre of operations down a little moving forward, and, for this reviewer at least, a mix of the aforementioned Twilight Eyes, the groove-laden gothic power metal of Who Am I and the epic storytelling of Jerusalem would be a pretty incendiary combination to look forward to in the future!
But that’s just me, and I’m sure you’ll draw you’re own conclusions when you get the chance to give The Arrival a spin. If modern Euro metal is your bag, and you enjoy any of the names I’ve mentioned, then there’s an awful lot to enjoy here – get stuck in!
The Arrival releases on June 3rd.