Damiera - M(US)ic [reissue] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


M(US)ic [reissue] (2007)

Equal Vision

Being somebody who was born in Buffalo, I can admit, there's not much to be happy about in the city. The Sabres are having the best season in franchise history, and the food is some of the best in the country, but for every amazing eatery there's five abandoned factories and a burned down apartment building. Musically, they boast Dead Hearts and Every Time I Die (though the latter isn't much to be proud of these days) but there's not much to get excited about.

Four men intend to change all that, and with the help of their newly-found record label, Damiera are more than capable.

Everything about this release is honed to perfection; from its 10 songs and half-an-hour runtime to the incredible talent of the musicians, it's a sensory explosion that you'd have to be a terrorist not to enjoy. Yes, a terrorist. You don't hate America, do you? Good.

The layered, intricate, driving anthems are steered at the helm by singer and guitarist Dave Raymond. Showing an incredible amount of skill and precision in each of those disciplines, he's able to help guide the other three band members to create a record in which no two songs sound too similar, without losing a uniform flow that never stops hitting. That's not to say the other band members don't hold important positions in the band, however, as that couldn't be further from the truth. Look no further than the opening track, "Immure," for a quick glimpse into how talented a quartet Damiera truly is. The clean riffing of Raymond and guitarist Rock Whittington is heavily jazz-influenced, and that parlays very well into their fast-paced, keep-you-on-your-toes style.

"Ember Eason" is a more reserved effort, with shimmering riffs and some very tactful drumming. It's important that they show their versatility, because people are often quick to pin a band to a particular style, and Damiera's range of talents should keep that from happening. From guitar tone to the sound of the snare drum, everything is crisp and precisely delivered while maintaining a ‘huge' sound that permeates every aspect of their songwriting. It's the kind of sound that's just as fitting in an arena full of 50,000 people as a VFW with only 20 people watching.

I really cannot say enough positive things about M(US)ic, as right from the outset Damiera has proved themselves to be consummate songwriters, capable of more than any of their current contemporaries. The sky is truly the limit for these Buffalonians, and their style is only eclipsed by substance. So rarely is that the case.