Although seemingly uninspired concerning the album title, DISMEMBER's "Death Metal" is a modern slab of the Swedish Death Metal sound. After an identical demo title by USA's Possessed in 1984, DISMEMBER record yet another juggernaut of aggressive discharge translated into music. Promising a return to the roots of raw, savage and relative lawless of their onset "Like An Ever Flowing Stream" back in 1991, the music reflects the visions of a destroyed and distorted imagery of society and the future. While not actually returning to their roots, they have managed to progress in a not half-bad manner.
The similar characteristics of Swedish Death Metal bands are for one, the heavy, massive guitar sound that is omni-present (be it AT THE GATES or ENTOMBED), the overall weighty power with which the riffs collide onto the listeners ears and the generic aggressiveness animated by society. The differences are obvious in the slight individual differences of the sole instruments and of course the vocalists, who each has his own vocal tinct. DISMEMBER were always very straightforward when it comes to presenting their pain and aggression. Their "Death Metal" album makes no exception. Without compromise the Swedish moloch demolishes everything in its path with a vengeance. Their instrument is purity in their execution, expressing absolute dominance with sagging simple riffs, riffs that impress due to their destructive nature. This is created by emphasizing metric progression in awesome structures with determined drumming and powerful vocal deliveries coated with allegorical lyrics. The cunning design of each song is a single minded entity with the sole purpose of releasing massive amounts of anger, while at the same time sounding very epic and foul. Syncopical riff structure is paved by solid drumming through each song.
Flaws often occurring from over-production or even good production tear and plague a large number of modern day Heavy Metal albums. The relative good production of DISMEMBER's "Death Metal" holds the pieced together, without sounding over-produced, pseudo-aggressive or smooth. Furthermore, onesidedness isn't a word these Death Metal masters have in their dictionary. Almost every aspect of human anxiety is captured on 12 carefully selected songs. A truthful album for loyal Heavy Metal fans that presents no doubt or compromise, while at the same time sounding modern and unified. A rare gem in modern day Metal. An absolute must-have.
(Online June 28, 2009)