Dismember - _Dismember_
(Regain Records, 2008)
by: Jackie Smit (
Coming off the back of an inspired return to form with _The God That Never Was_, Dismember's latest has arguably been flying a few notches below the radar, thanks to several other highline death metal acts currently also in the middle of peddling their latest efforts. I'd certainly admit that despite being very pleasantly surprised by its predecessor, a track record of mediocrity had me less than pumped to hear the band's eighth studio outing. As it turns out, my scepticism was completely and utterly unfounded.From the moment that "Death Conquers All" launches out of the gate at 100 mph, you know that something's most definitely cooking in the Dismember camp. The riffing is gloriously chaotic, the pace is frenetic and Matti Kärki's voice sounds as exigent and unhinged as it's ever been. Then, just as you've started to ease yourself into this maelstrom, the Swedes tug back on the reigns and you're plunged headfirst into one of the moodiest breakdowns this side of The Reverend Bizarre. Skip ahead to track two and the band continue to apply discriminating tweaks to their formula, the vintage Sabbath groove of "Europa Burns" forming an almost ironic contrast to the dual-guitar harmonies on "Under a Bloodred Sky", lending a distinctly Iron Maiden-esque flavour to proceedings.It's supremely fitting then that this should be Dismember's eponymous disc. There are not a whole lot of bands -- particularly within death metal's old guard -- who can lay claim to producing some of the finest work of their career nearly two decades after being formed. But if Dismember were looking to create a definitive piece of work, then they've most definitely succeeded with murderous precision.
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