DISMEMBER is one of those bands that it’s needless to write an introduction for. Their debut album, “Like An Everflowing Stream”, is regarded as one of Death Metal’s finest moments. For that reasons it’s regarded as the best DISMEMBER album by many as well. I, however, prefer “Massive Killing Capacity” over their debut. I’m one of the few, or at least it feels likes that, that thinks “Hate Campaign” is a good recording. I’m telling you this to let you know that I’m not the typical DISMEMBER fan. Count me in as a fan nonetheless.
DISMEMBER is good proof for the fact that good Death Metal doesn’t need blast beats. DISMEMBER has been proving this for 15 years already. The biggest evolvement DISMEMBER has seen is the addition of IRON MAIDEN alike guitar harmonies. At heart DISMEMBER hasn’t changed a bit, though. Much like BOLT THROWER they have carved their own niche in Death Metal. You are no fan of Death Metal if you confuse DISMEMBER for someone else. If you have a damaged hearing and only hear high notes I could forgive you for confusing them for IRON MAIDEN. Then again you wouldn’t be listening to Death Metal so you are no fan either way. A former fan at best.
If you are a follower of the band already you won’t be treated to any surprises. Some of us are afraid of changes after what METALLICA and AMORPHIS did to us. Fortunately DISMEMBER can defend their conservative attitude with the fact that they know how to write good songs, they’ve known that for a long time. In fact I think they’ve done better records previous to “The God Never Was”. Not that any of them blows “The God That Never Was” out of the water, though.
One of the things that accompanies DISMEMBER is a distinct guitar buzz, also known as the Sunlight buzz. The Sunlight buzz aren’t original in itself, but I dare to say that DISMEMBER have their own signature on it. Not surprising if you know that they record in their own studio nowadays. One other thing is the fact that they aren’t using any blast beats. (I’ve already mentioned that so consider these lines as unnecessary work for the translators.)
Through my repeated listens on “The God That Never Was” I picked out some favourites. The first of them is “Time Heals Nothing”, with its brilliant use of harmonies and guitar solos. The second one is “Trail Of Dead”. This is a far more aggressive symphony than “Time Heals Nothing”. Most of the song goes in up-tempo, but around half way through we are treated to an excellent breakdown into mid-tempo, very effective. “Phantom (Of The Oath)” is an interesting song in that respect that it serves as an instrumental ode to IRON MAIDEN. That guitar duelling band had a song called “Phantom Of The Opera” on their self-titled debut album. If you aren’t able to see the similarity I find it strange that you’ve been able to read this far.
DISMEMBER has notched up the aggression and tuned down the harmonies. Still they remain the perfect band if you who like both IRON MAIDEN and Death Metal. (It gets killer scores most places, time will show if I agree.) (Online April 14, 2006)