While I enjoyed DISMEMBER’s last album “Where Iron Crosses Grow”, it didn’t quite have the resonance that works such as “Death Metal”, “Massive Killing Capacity’, or “Like An Ever Flowing Stream” did (the last not a shock as it is one of the best Death Metal albums you can find). “…Grow” had a deficient mix and some sub par songs. So, I was quite feverishly waiting what one of my long loved bands would bring to the Metal gods this time around. Ahh, no disappointment here, as “The God That Never Was” is a primo piece of churning Death Metal.
DISMEMBER are a band who are far better song writers than most of the horde of DM acts around, layering not so much nuances but sensational ferocity and sweet, grinding grooves. Many songs have the similar arrangement of a blistering, mid-scooped riff that is then buttressed by a higher pitched guitar coming in on the riff. Damn it, I’ve got the album on right now and this fucker kills! What DISMEMBER are so out of this world at is during a burning riff fest of razing impact, they then incorporate plenty of just perfect melodic breaks and solos. Never relenting any of the punch of the songs, these breaks and often harmonic melodies just sit sweetly with the ripping going on around them. A track like “Time Heals Nothing” and many others integrate this and add in grooves of that chugging Death Metal that stops you in your tracks and demands a visceral response of head banging mania. You can’t help it…you’re gripped by it. Every song on “The God That Never Was” is a gem, worthy of any DM fans collection.
For anyone who was under the impression after their last release that DISMEMBER may be a band that were going downhill, forget it. These Swedes are back to claim their stake atop the Death Metal pile and are easily up there with the best in this reviewers humble opinion. It will take a great year in Metal for this album not to be in the top 10 mix at the end of the year. (Online April 24, 2006)