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A Magazine for Sheffield

5 Brothers of Death

For a release titled 5 Brothers of Death, it’s fitting that DSL’s debut EP contains songs named 'Shinigamu Realm', 'The Omen', 'Red Eklipse' and 'Embedded'. More importantly, the tracks sound exactly as they are presented - raw and consistent.
The titular track is a blend of oriental sounds and grime that almost feels like it shouldn’t work, but it does, and it’s a good way to start the instrumental half of the EP. On the second half, 5 Brothers of Death becomes the instrumental for 'Loud N Vodka', where Row D provides a solid chorus and ironically rhymes: “They don’t give a shit about lyrics / They just want to sing this hook.”

'The Omen' is one of the most memorable instrumentals due to its eerie sound, in direct contrast to 'Shinigamu Realm', an almost jarring listen that is layered with enjoyable energy. 'Red Eklipse' features dialogue from grime heavyweight Big Narstie and is the only instrumental not to have an MC cover it, but it stands up by itself.

RD and Mr X's vocals on 'Omen' don't let the quality of the instrumental down and it's one of the best tracks on the EP, while the 'Shinigamu Realm' instrumental becomes 'Embedded', featuring Forca. The combination is a vicious one and the instrumental sounds more forceful with Forca’s controlled delivery. Jaemann turns 'Exo D' into 'XO' for a perfect finish to the EP.

DSL’s debut isn’t just proof that there are talented individuals within grime in Sheffield. It's a satisfying release and one that will have listeners keeping their ears open for more from DSL.

Akeem Balogun