DISARMONIA MUNDI are one of those bands I discovered when I started getting into the Melodic Death Metal genre (mostly due to the fact that on their later works they feature the vocals of Speed Strid of SOILWORK) but since their debut album was somewhat of a hard album to come by I never really had a chance to check it out. With a brand spanking new album on the way at the end of 2009, which I’m sure will be very awesome, it only makes sense to see a reissue of their hard to come by debut, “Nebularium”.
For those of you that already possess said debut then for the most part this reissue is going to be skip…except for the fact that it comes with a second disc of rare studio tracks entitled “The Restless Memoirs” which is by far a solid reason to pick up the album to hear some tracks from as early as 1999 (before the debut!!) and up to 2006. I’ll get more in depth later, but it’s too exciting not to write about it now. Firstly, let’s look at the debut though.
If anything that should come from “Nebularium” it should display how ridiculously good Ettore Rigotti is as a leader and song writer. This is perhaps the only album in the MUNDI discography that truly is a ‘band’ release as there are actually different members to the band that play all the different instruments. The band would later become more and more attached to the Modern Metal styling, but on this release they strictly play a Gothenburg sound of Melodic Death and only occasionally leans towards that Modern style. The core of the album is definitely rooted in the Death Metal genre with its riff heavy and double bass happy speed on tracks like “Burning Cells” but what makes this album so much better then your average run o the mill Death Metal act is its Progressive tendencies with melody. The combination of the Death Metal rhythms and the Progressive melodies (the dueling guitar work on this album is to cry for) along with some strong and varied vocals from Benny Bianco Chinto brings a lot of comparisons to the likes of OPETH more often then not. Although MUNDI tends to be a little more user friendly then the long drawn out Prog of OPETH, but the comparisons are mostly valid and upfront. Tons of changing tempos, riffs that wind into guitar lead duels, batteries of drumming, bass work that is actually relevant and not just along for the ride, and a combination of low register singing and Death gurgles make “Nebularium” a solid listen for fans of the old and the new. A few may not enjoy the fact that keyboards do make an impactful appearance but their combination with guitar and vocal melodies make them a welcome layer that many bands can’t pull off.
The second part of this re-release is “The Restless Memoirs”, a compilation of tracks that didn’t make the cut from various parts of the band's past. One can easily tell that it’s a compilation (the fact that Bjorn Strid is on some of the tracks should make that relevant) as the songs tend to float better on their own instead of flowing like an album would, but all of them are damn solid and easily could have made album status in my book. One can get a taste of the more modern side of MUNDI on tracks like “Spiral Dancer” or “Across The Burning Surface” if one would like to test the waters before making the plunge, but it’s a great collectors addition to the album and worthy of the second purchase if one already has the main album.
It’s nice to finally see this album with a legit release for the fans out there since they have garnered some weight to their name. “Nebularium” is still DISARMONIA MUNDI’s best release with its cohesive and Progressive attack on Melodic Death Metal and this re-release proves the point home. Hopefully, more can enjoy this album and the upcoming one too.
Songs to check out: “Blue Lake”, “Burning Cells”, “Across The Burning Surface”.
(Online July 16, 2009)