If you have missed any of D.Ni.L’s previous 3 album then do not let his latest, “Do You Know Who I Am?” pass you by. If on the other hand you liked “This In’t A Party”, “Suicide.In.Sips” or “Boy.Inside”, then, my god, you are going to love this. This set of twelve tracks is so powerful and consistent it’s untrue. There is not one moment that dips on this record, every single bit is built towards making this possibly the best independently made rock-rap fusion album you will hear in 2019. If you want an idea of what to expect from “This In’t A Party”, or from D.Ni.L in general, look no further than the opening track ‘Analogue Bath’. From the jangly strum and scaled guitar runs, through the intense rapped verses, to the ultimate melodic vocal highs, D.Ni.L has a song that completely sums him up. Lyrical bars, and rocking technical soundscape, amazing all in equal doses, the mix is nothing short of perfect.
This album is far from what you expect it to be. It’s an incredible rush with every song; each being a small jewel that, doesn’t only give the album extra impact as a whole, but gives each song a sublime sense of individuality. D.Ni.L’s greatness lies in his ability to completely master the task at hand, in all of its facets.
From its cranium smashing guitars to the falsetto vocals “Buried” is another one of his adorable babies. Complex rhythms, soaring vocals and realistic, relatable lyrics drive this monster deep into your conscious mind. It also helps that D.Ni.L is such a diverse vocalist; he can instantly change his tone and pitch, almost in the middle of a word. It makes for some of the most interesting vocal melodies.
“Feelings” perfects D.Ni.L’s familiar melodic rock style – grinding guitars, punctuated rhythms and sweet harmonized hooks blend to make an undeniable radio-ready pop-rocker. The simplest reason you should love this album is because it really does take nearly every single idea D.Ni.L has ever thought up, and makes something great out of it.
“Do You Know Who I Am?” accomplishes the goal of what seems to be every D.Ni.L album: a group of very different songs that fit, and have ten times the amount of ideas than the track number would suggest. Listen to the languid guitar strumming and mellow string-filled beauty of “Forever” to fully grasp the variety of this album.
By the time we get to the intense momentum of “Let The Side Down”, it sounds like D.Ni.L wanted to be vocally inside the music more than on any other album, and this lends an air of stunning melodic and harmonic complexity to each song. All of which come alive on the epic “Melt”, where D.Ni.L goes from a moan to a groan, and a scream to a growl.
D.Ni.L is so present and his vocal delivery varies so impressively that you can’t help but feel that he is bleeding onto your eardrums. He tugs the rest of the music along in a rhythmic earthquake that even pleases the head-banging sensibilities. The catchy slow verse that gives way to a hectic chorus then right back to the melodic verse, will knock you off your feet.
Smooth licks and riffs bounce off emotive vocal cries and easily audible bass grooves on “Nod” as D.Ni.L revels in a bombastic display of all the typical traits that helps define him as unique in his style. Something he takes to yet another level on “Running”. If you try and box this song into a genre, it will shock you and turn around and do something else, as it moves between melodic balladry and driving rock.
While most bands and artists nowadays are fairly straight forward, D.Ni.L is not. His songs are everywhere and will catch you by surprise. Another drastic change comes with “Sweet Man”, as he moves between soft and loud dynamics that are completely thrilling.
The song that bears the name of “Top and Bottom Of It”, is a perfect balance between gorgeous growling guitars, schizoid bellows and adrenaline-inducing sick beats. Between this track and the subsequent “Under My Wing”, D.Ni.L proves that he can produce any kind of music and provoke any desired emotion at will, without you ever being prepared for the explosion of sound to come.
The album closes with the relatively mellow “Way Back Down” which is another tune absolutely ready for mainstream radio charts. Once again D.Ni.L’s vocals come to the fore – distinctive, expressive and dramatic. As the final notes echo in your head, there can be no doubt that the album, “Do You Know Who I Am?” alludes to unrestrained greatness. It overwhelmingly extravagant, relentlessly exciting, and outright entertaining!
MORE ABOUT: D.Ni.L is a self-taught, guitarist, bassist, keyboardist, drummer and vocalist. Born in Croydon and raised in York (UK), he was heavily influenced by Motown artists and especially Michael Jackson. D.Ni.L who grew up in the 90s also loved a lot of indie music from that era, particularly The Charlatans, Manic Street Preachers and The Stone Roses. While other big influences also include Nirvana, Helmet, Slint and Deftones. For twenty years D.Ni.L’s life had been in a downward spiral due to drink and drug addiction. He spent four years in hostels for the homeless and sleeping rough. He has now been in recovery for a couple of years and works at Tang Hall SMART, delivering music provisions to people who would otherwise be marginalized by society. They release music through their own Musication record label.