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Masterpiece! Masterpiece! - 100%

dismember_marcin, August 14th, 2010

It’s been about 16 years now since I bought the tape of “Dreams of the Carrion Kind” and first listened to it as a teenager. Can’t believe it’s been that long, to be honest, especially that this album doesn’t seem to be getting old at all; when I listen to it nowadays it still sounds amazingly fresh and vital for me. That alone must speak a lot for significance and strength of the material that the group led by James Murphy recorded.

In my humble opinion DISINCARNATE did one of the most devastating, original and important albums of that time. Remember that it was 1993; year when many fans, labels, magazines started to feel really fed up by the amount of death metal bands and releases coming out every month. I remember that the reviews of death metal bands at that time were becoming more and more average and hardly any LPs were really praised. The reason for it was simple – in 1993 it was more and more difficult to come up with something truly original and interesting. Of course this year wasn’t as bad as say 1995 or 1996, when the number of great death metal albums could have been counted on five fingers. But look at what bands like ENTOMBED, GOREFEST, MORGOTH, TIAMAT, THERION, OBITUARY, DEICIDE recorded in 1993 and tell me if any of these albums (even if they're still good) are better than their earlier recordings?

It is important to imagine what was going on in the (death) metal scene in 1992-93. Why? Because this is the time when James Murphy, after leaving DEATH and OBITUARY decided to form a band, which would play technical and brutal death metal with a progressive touch and be an outlet for all the ideas Murphy gathered and couldn’t use in the bands he played before. He was aiming for something unique and better that anything else he contributed in before. Of course “Dreams of the Carrion Kind” is still pretty much standard, straightforward death metal record in most of its parts; it isn’t an experimental, jazzing, absurd type of playing, bands like ATHEIST or CYNIC delivered. Here the riffs are damn heavy and brutal and have enough energy to blow up the entire town if you play this LP in proper volume… But just listen to these riffs! In my opinion Murphy brought here really original riffage, maybe little bit melodic, but with a charisma far different from the typical American death metal band.

Give a listen to “Stench of Paradise Burning” and you may know what I mean. This is wonderful song, so intense and massive that it can kill, but the technical precision and wonderful guitar solo part is something totally unique and hardly ever heard before. The opening part of “”Beyond the Flesh” is just staggering and the doomy feeling makes this song one of the best on the album. And that guitar solo again! Man, the melodies and guitar soloing truly are some of the best I’ve ever heard on the death metal album and I guess only Chuck Schuldiner could have reached such level of emotions and passion. This is almost weird that a death metal record, which is all based on pure aggression, can bring also so many different emotions, sometimes almost beautiful, sorrowful parts, like that slow, doom laden fragment in “In Sufferance”. That’s an absolute masterpiece.

Other thing that I must underline is the fact that the material on “Dreams of the Carrion Kind” is so equal that it’s impossible to point out the best songs. No filler here! It could be “Monarch of the Sleeping Marches”, with MY DYING BRIDE’s Aaron Stainthope guest vocal appearance in the chorus. This song is so brutal and infectious that you’ll have neck ache for days! But any track picked up from “Dreams of the Carrion Kind” is a killer, it’s a complete, perfected album with plenty of hooks but also material to bang your skull maniacally. I praised the wonderful job Murphy did, but I cannot forget about great work of other DISINCARNATE members: whether we speak about Tommy Viator’s precise drumming or Bryan Cegon’s characteristic vocals – even that alone is so different from the usual death metal vocalisations. I can’t believe that Cegon wasn’t later picked up by another death metal band; such great is his performance here. Man, I really can’t find any weak parts on “Dreams of the Carrion Kind”!!! I might moan on the production a bit, as the demo versions of some of the songs sounded even more brutal (they’ve been recorded in the MORRISOUND), but who cares?! In my opinion this is just superb, classic album and one that will never get boring. 16 years on and I still listen to this vinyl (or CD, as I have both) with honest, undying pleasure. Amazing.