Dismember - _Where Ironcrosses Grow_
(Karmageddon Media, 2004)
by: Paul Schwarz (
It has been five years since a Dismember album last saw the light of day, but after a triumphant Wacken performance reawakened the world to their hacking, slashing, chainsaw-powered death metal might, anticipation has been running high. _Where Ironcrosses Grow_ has taken its time coming out, having been recorded a year ago, but for fans of the band and others hungry for some old-school, Autopsy- and Iron Maiden-infused Swedish death metal, it will be well worth the wait. Though not quite the mixture of all the best bits of Dismember Matti Karki will tell you it is, _WIG_ isn't actually far off the mark. As any of you who've heard the title track -- downloadable from Karmageddon Media -- will attest, Dismember's sixth full-length boasts a much better attuned sound than _Hate Campaign_ did: the dirty crunch of _Like an Everflowing Stream_ is present here in spirit if not quite in actuality, with the slightly-too-clean, almost sequenced feel which the Swedes' last two albums dragged like a ball-and-chain, effectively amputated. Dismember have recaptured the momentum and fist-to-the-face impact which those last two albums lacked. Instead of delivering a slightly confused selection of songs -- some great, some not so great -- Dismember have delivered a cohesive album which flows from track to track; the opening title track slams to a close, and after the well-placed click-clack of a handgun slide preparing a new magazine, "Fuelled by Hate" kicks in backed with a big BANG; penultimate track "Children of the Cross" winds down and fades out with a doom-infused riff backed by chaotic, improvised drum-breaks, seeming to signal the albums close, but then fades back in for half-a-minute to allow "As I Pull the Trigger" to swat it aside, bolt you upright, and ultimately pave the way for a highly satisfying finish. Put simply, _WIG_ combines all the elements that Dismember fans have come to know and love the band for; it's not experimental, but it -is- reinvigorated. It may not be the perfect Dismember album, but it's their most consistent since at least _Massive Killing Capacity_, my current third favourite after _Indecent and Obscene_ and _LaEFS_ (yes, in that order), and certainly an album no fan of the band should be advised to go without. I'd give it a higher mark, but then I'd be making the same mistake I did when I reviewed _Death Metal_ in these pages all of seven years ago: giving an album a high mark because -I- enjoy it so much, rather than objectively giving it the mark it deserves.
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