DIES IRAE are a bit of an all-star group from Poland comprised of members from other Polish Death Metal bands such as VADER, BEHEMOTH and SCEPTIC. Having heard little from any of those groups, I am not going to attempt a comparison of this to the members’ other projects except to say it is more melodic and not quite as brutal as what I have heard.
“Sculpture Of Stone” is the 3rd album by DIES IRAE and has really grown on me with repeated listens, due largely to the clean but heavy production and large number of great hooks in the songs. Even on my second listen I remembered almost every song by the guitar melodies. Nothing sweet or real fancy, just catchy melodic guitar lines over galloping, jugging, thrash riffs played with perfect precision. Every instrument is very tight and fulfils its role perfectly. This describes the “lighter” side of the album and means little without the contrast provided by blast beating and pounding double bass raging beneath monster guitar lines and Novy’s amphibian croak; there are also screams and shrieks which go perfectly with the deep voice and add a lot to the anger on the disc.
I would suggest that “Sculpture Of Stone” is aggressive enough to please most Death Metal fans yet melodic enough to be appreciated by those who aren’t into straight up brutality.
It’s not the most original sounding disc I’ve heard by a long shot but, considering the members, they are borrowing from a pool they helped to fill. Good enough to make me want to check out their previous releases and dig a bit deeper into VADER’s back catalogue, “Sculpture Of Stone” is a very solid and heavy release. (Online December 28, 2005)