You’re going about your business one day, doing whatever it is that you normally do, washing the dog or whatever and as you’re walking around you suddenly find your feet no longer on solid ground. The blood rushes to your head as you fall through a hole in the floor. Tumbling down, falling and falling through darkness, you eventually land with a hard thud in a damp, putrid cavern. It’s so dark that even pitch black would seem blindingly bright. Centipedes crawl up your legs and cobwebs tangle in your mouth every time you try to call for help. You feel the floor vibrate as a…well, a something…plods its way into the cavern. You try to run, but before you can turn you feel its slimy talons latch onto your flesh. For the rest of your life, you are slowly digested in the belly of this beast, occasionally vomited back out only to be devoured again shortly.
That’s the feeling I get when I listen to “Transcendence Into The Peripheral.” DISEMBOWELMENT alternate between two very different styles – blistering, brutal Death Metal with jackhammer blast beats and slower-than-a-snail-trudging-through-peanut-butter-while-on-quaaludes minimalist Doom. The vocals are a roaring growl, low and completely incomprehensible, bringing to mind all sorts of Lovecraftian horrors. I was surprised when I checked the liner notes and saw vocals credited to Renato Gallina rather than Baoht Z’ugga-Mogg or Yog-Sothoth. Production-wise, you’d swear that this thing really was recorded in a cave, as it honestly sounds dirty and wet. Yeah, this is not pretty stuff - DISEMBOWELMENT rends your viscera with their fast sections, ripping out your intestines and hanging you with them and then lets you wallow in your own shock-induced excrement during the slow sections.
There’s not a whole lot of variety on this album, with pretty much every song conforming to the atmosphere described above, so the later songs may tend to drag on a bit. Then again, this isn’t supposed to be easy listening and the quality of the songs makes up for the redundancy factor. If you like a little bit of pain and agony in your Metal, DISEMBOWELMENT provide the perfect soundtrack to masochism. The only exception to this is “Nightside Of Eden,” a short acoustic track with female spoken word vocals – hah, you gotta love that sort of sadistically false hope.
This baby’s long out of print, but Relapse Records recently re-released the album as part of a self-titled compilation with a bonus disc containing some rare tracks, including the band’s “Dusk” EP and supposedly the material was remastered as well. I can’t comment on that release, since I don’t have it, but it’s most likely the only way you’re going to find a copy of this album without resorting to the Ebay leeches. (Online November 17, 2005)