That patented buzz-saw guitar sound is thundering through my speakers, Matti still sounds like he’s caught in a mad rage, and every note of DISMEMBER’s newest effort pisses squarely in the face of anything even remotely modern. All is good and right in the universe then? Well, kinda...
See, for all its brashness this Swedish Death Metal institution’s self-titled album suffers from a peculiar lack of killer riffs. Their last album, 2004’s “The God That Never Was”, perfectly married the intensity of old school Swedish Death Metal with some very classy Maiden-esque melodies and it absolutely floored me. On here, however, the band has largely dispensed with this melodic inclination and the end result is a bunch of songs that, although heavy (very heavy, actually), and somewhat energetic just doesn’t carry the same depth and charm of those found on earlier works. The middle part of the album is spot-on, with a faint sense of melody rearing its head here and there (see “Under A Bloodred Sky” – brilliant), coupled with some deft tempo changes. They also reach Thrash-like speeds on “The Hills Have Eyes” that certainly brought a smile to my face. Elsewhere, “Tide Of Blood” is just a total Death Metal monster, while the album closer is slower again, topped off with an epic Doom-y vibe. This represents the Swedes at their best. It’s just a shame the opening two tracks and the penultimate three tracks are such clunkers. Here they shift from Death Metal to Dead Metal. Not fun.
I dunno what else to say about this album. It’s certainly not an absolute turkey, but the filler tracks on here are really bad and they definitely drag the overall quality of the album down. Get this one to round out the ol’ collection but know that it’s not one of their finer moments.
The new DERANGED rocks a lot harder than this, methinks.
(Online March 13, 2008)