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Dismember
Dismember

Company: Regain Records
Release: 2008
Reviewer: Etiam
Genre: Death
Rating
3.5



  • A confident and gutsy album that achieves its end



  • When a band releases a self-titled record far into their career, chances are it's intended to make a special statement. Whether it marks a new theme, a return to an old theme, a swan song or a new beginning, self-titled albums make an implicit promise of momentous change that is difficult to live up to. After seeing Dismember's boisterous set on their latest State-side tour (as compared to the surly Grave, also on the bill) it was clear that they were heading in such a direction, off the path of primordial Swedish death they had blazed themselves (along with Grave and Nihilist). A possible contributor to this divergence is the infusion of new blood--original drummer Fred Estby departed in '07, and the band has also brought on a new bassist (Cristiansson) and rhythm guitarist (Persson) in recent years. And even though the stalwart David Blomqvist and Matti Kärki remain, meaning that Dismember today sounds not too unlike Dismember of 1993, enough changes have been made to keep a sharp, fresh edge on this limb-clipping machine.

    The foremost of these changes is how confidently and smoothly it establishes the band in new melodic territory. Splashes of clean leads and harmonized Swedish shuffles have always been a quirky component of Dismember's sound, but only in recent years have they begun to explore the lower end of the gain knob this extensively. 'Under A Bloodred Sky', though admittedly overlong, prominently features the new approach in an instrumental break where Blomqvist and Persson lay down a convincing interpretation on the classic Iron Maiden theme. As usual, Blomqvist receives the lion's share of the songwriting credit here, but at least one of the new members appears on most of the tracks, and those few written by Blomqvist and Kärki alone contribute to a weaker second half.

    Overall, though, 'Dismember' retains an invigorating crackle that leaps right out of the speakers. This is in no small part due to a critical element of any production job that is much easier said than done: good tone. Nearly all of the Swedish greats have mastered the art of distortion with tones that cut like fuzzy machetes, but few have been able to break from this style, much less integrate it smoothly with any other sound. Dismember succeeded in this critical area and found a nearly ideal balance between grit and glide that gives some leads a warmer, almost buttery tone.

    Of course, not all of 'Dismember' is that sweet. Stompfests like 'Legion' (great gang vox chorus for future shows) and the memorable refrain of 'Europa Burns' find Dismember hacking away again with bruising force. From punky jaunts to bending, doomy sneers, Blomqvist and Kärki are refusing to mellow with age and have recruited just the right talent to help them along. 'Dismember' is a confident and gutsy album that achieves its ends, proving 'The God That Never Was' to be no comeback fluke. After enough time spent with these past two albums, we might all forget that 'Hate Campaign' ever happened.


    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: DISMEMBER
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    DismemberDismember
    2008
    Etiam5/9/2008
    The God That Never WasDismember
    2006
    Eric Compton2/18/2006


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