by S J Holetz
I recently discovered that the soon-to-be-released
lastest album from Swedish Death Metal veterans
Dismember could be heard in
it's entirety as a streaming preview on mp3.com. [check it out here]
this, I had hadn't actually heard Dismember,
although I was aware that they were contemporaries of personal
faves Entombed. Intrigued, I gave the album a listen, and
was shocked to find that I had stumbled upon the
best death metal release of the year so far.
Dismember [Official Site [link]; MySpace [link]] was formed in Stockholm in 1988 by
Blomqvist and drummer Fred Estby, who were joined soon thereafter by the roaring
throat of frontman Matti
Karki. Estby left the band amicably in 2007, apparently leading to questions amongst
some fans as to how
his loss would affect this latest self-titled effort, the band's 8th.
Sonically, these long-time death
take the old school gut-bucket rumble of early
Entombed and meld it seamlessly with the incredible
duo-guitar harmonies of pre-suck Iron
there is little groundbreaking
here, only the perfect embodiment of the soul of death metal. I have
The CD opens with "Death
Conquers All", snapping necks early in a furiously crushing
statement of intent.
This is followed by "Europa Burns", which moves across
the landscape with the implacability of a tank, the riff
ponderous, huge and powerful.
Next up is "Under
a Bloodred Sky", no less than a death metal masterpiece. My
disc of amazing quality, "Under a
Bloodred Sky" races around the room in thrashy abandon.
After an amazing
solo, a bass lead segues into a Maiden-esque
harmony breakdown, culminating in a note bend at about
4:52 that is so simple and yet so awesomely sublime that it sends
chills up my
spine. This is a band that
just fucking GETS it. Fantastic.
But even as you still savor the last notes of the
previous awesome tune, along comes "The
head crusher that out-Entombed's
Entombed at their own game. The sequencing here is perfect.
Then we get a couple of satanic shout-outs
reminescent of The Crown
(RIP), in the excellent
blackened thrash of "(We Are) Legion", and "Tide of Blood", the latter
alternating melody and weight in a
Golden Ratio of carnage: This is death metal exactly the way its meant
to be. Awesome line:
"We are your fucking overlords!" Indeed.
gives us another top notch speedball, followed by the queasy bends and crunching
power chords of the "No Honor
In Death", before "To End It
All" picks up the tempo once again with
to the cranium. The album closes out in masterful fashion with the
stuttering death 'n' roll
crunch of "Dark Depths", and the sinisterly
atmospheric intro which leads to the anthemic "Black Sun",
a crushing tale
of evil "lying in wait beneath the polar ice".
Through it all, Dismember is
never at a loss for another catchy riff, another epic moment. It's
blast to listen
to, and an excellent example of a veteran band at the pinnacle of their
craft. I have spent far too
long not listening to this band, and I can't state this strongly
enough: I love
this fucking CD. Dismember
goes on sale in the US on 4/1/08, and I for one will be there cash in
hand. BUY ONE!