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A freezing hideous manifestation - 85%

meshigene, November 26th, 2016

At first, The Manifestation may seem like one of these promo singles/EPs that get released about a month before the full-length albums and generally aren't worth a shit, unless you're a completist or just really, really impatient. But there's one difference: "The Manifestation" is a good Disma song that's exclusive to this release, and it's actually worth half of this EP's price. Or rather was, because Necroharmonic has already released The Lost Vault of Chaos compilation, which features all of Disma's non-album recordings, including this EP. The other song, "Purulent Quest", is featured on Towards the Megalith, and its EP version isn't different from its full-length version.

This EP sounds more old-school than Towards the Megalith, mostly because of the production. It's not as loud and clear, the guitar tone is not as buzzy, and the whole thing simply sounds more cavernous and obscure. In my opinion, this kind of production suits Disma's Incantation-worshipping brand of death metal much better than the production on Towards the Megalith. However, the drums sound "softer" and not as massive as on Towards the Megalith, and the blasts seem messy and off-time, but that's the only more or less significant flaw in the production. Craig Pillard's growls are also different, they aren't as deep on this EP as they are on TtM, and you can actually make out some words. It's not really a drawback, but I think that Pillard's signature unintelligible ultra-deep gutturals would've suited the music much better. The bass is just there, not doing anything special besides simply adding to the low end.

Musically, this EP is very in line with Disma's other releases, that is, Incantation (especially Mortal Throne of Nazarene) worship with a huge and obvious influence from Autopsy and Autopsy-worshipping Scandinavian death metal bands. The tracks are different from each other, with "The Manifestation" having no messy blastbeats and being much doomier and more Autopsy-influenced than "Purulent Quest". However, "Purulent Quest", although much faster and more Incantation-like than the title track, betrays the Autopsy influence in its slow parts. Both of these tracks are equally grim and cavernous, though, even despite the obvious differences between them.

Overall, The Manifestation would be a nice introduction for someone who's new to Disma or cavernous death metal in general, because it is great, showcases both sides of Disma and has a relatively clear production for cavernous death metal, so it's more than worth getting as a part of the aforementioned The Lost Vault of Chaos compilation. But on its own, it's pretty much worthless unless you're a completist.