Wednesday, 2 May 2012

DISMEMBER - Death Metal (1997)

01  Of Fire
02  Trendkiller
03  Misanthropic
04  Let the Napalm Rain
05  Live for the Fear (Of Pain)
06  Stillborn Ways
07  Killing Compassion
08  Bred for War
09  When Hatred Killed the Light
10  Ceremonial Comedy
11  Silent Are the Watchers
12  Mistweaver
13  Pagan Savior
14  Shadowland
15  Afterimage
16  Shapeshifter

'Death Metal' is the fourth album by legendary Swedish extreme metal band Dismember. It was recorded at Sunlight Studios, Stockholm and released via Nuclear Blast Records on August 8th, 1997.

Dismember have popped out a good blast of Swedish rage on this disc. Thankfully, the band haven't tried competing with themselves as they probably know that their legacy was set in stone and remained forever chained to their first two releases. While a burden like that is difficult to deal with, it also allows the band to free themselves to do as they please due to the somewhat "underdog" nature of the genre. They still adhere to the Swedish tradition of fast and heavy and punky on "Trendkiller" and "Bred For War", never losing a step, and not allowing the listener to breathe. The Autopsy influence is here as well, the crushing "Mistweaver" closes the album on a high note, a towering, soaring track which ends up being one of Dismember's heaviest tracks.

The consistency of the drums is just as noticeable as the guitar, as there are differing tempos and solid beats. One thing I noticed about the riffs is that while being furious, they are still melodic. This is quite clear in "Live For The Fear Of Pain". Towards the end of "Silent Are The Watchers", features some great harmony lead work, displaying the band’s excellent musicianship. It has become one of my favourites on the album because of that section of music and the catchy chorus.

The album does have some flaws though. Songs can sound a little repetitive after a while, due to the long tracklist. The lyrics are mainly about the horrors of the war and are nothing innovating or special. “Screams of pain echoes through the night as bullets find their targets, mercilessly ripping through your flesh spraying intestines and bone all around”. This is an example from "Of Fire". Being released in 1997, 'Death Metal' wasn’t anything new. Dismember stuck with their trademark sound and did what worked for them. It is a very consistent record and isn’t too repetitive. I recommend this album for anyone into death metal. More specifically, if you are into Swedish death metal then I highly recommend it.

*Reissued by Regain Records in 2005 and includes the four bonus tracks from the Japanese release. Reissued on January 19th 2010 as a double 180 gram gatefold gray marble vinyl and includes the four bonus tracks from the Japanese release. Limited to 1000 copies.

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