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Disma - Towards the Megalith - 95%

dismember_marcin, January 14th, 2012

I barely finished listening to Father Befouled's "Morbid Destitution of Covenant" LP and already got massacred by yet another doomy death metal band. Band, which at the first listen may be sounding pretty similar and which is also taking a lot of credit from Incantation, Immolation, mid era Morbid Angel or Dead Congregation, but delivers such a furious and devastating piece of music that I thought it must be the end of the world soon, if the bands keep playing something as monstrous as that! This band is Disma, I'm pretty sure many of you have heard about them already. It's been formed by Daryl Kahan, from the mighty Funebrarum (and few other bands) and by ex-Incantation guitarist Bill Venner (well, sort of ex, as he was just a live member in 1990, but he did their artwork for their first demo). The band is a five piece and the most intriguing member above those two I already mentioned is no one else, but Craig Pillard, known to everyone from his playing and growling on the early Incantation’s works, like "Onward to Golgotha" and "Mortal Throne of Nazarene". That must be enough for recommendation, right? After a demo and two EPs, Disma finally came out with their first full length, "Towards the Megalith" album, which was released in 2011. The album contains eight anthems, 46 minutes in total, and it's sort of mixture of some older songs (from the demo and EP) with new ones.

I must say that I got bashed by "Towards the Megalith" instantly. First thing that I absolutely loved about the band is the artwork they have on the album. Man, this must be one of the coolest artworks I've ever seen, the front picture, which goes through the all three digipack pages looks just fuckin impressive and I hardly ever seen anything like that. It’s epic, ghoulish, hooded monks carry the coffins and walk through the dark woods towards this huge temple… Cool! I would love to see it on a vinyl - which I hope will be released soon - to be able to spot all the details of this picture. But the digipack also looks amazing.

And when I started to listen to the music it was the production that Disma achieved on the CD threw me off the chair again. Of course it's just brutal as fuck, heavy and massive death metal production, but at the same time it's much clearer and more energetic than say Father Befouled's "Morbid Destitution of Covenant" LP that I mentioned above. It is pure excellence; I especially like the sound of drums! And when the first riffing of "Chaos Apparition" resounded, I knew it is going to be yet another killer record. Excellent opening riff and the tempo speeds up... and yeah, Pillard knows how to growl, he's a beast not man, with very deep, guttural, great sounding vokills. Anyway, the song does sound amazing, there’re quite few tempo changes, breaks, but the riffing will make you bang the skull in constant ferocity. Basically this track also pretty much describes how does the whole album sound like, as Disma never experiments, never plays anything what wouldn’t fit the whole brutal doomy death metal style. “Chasm of Oceanus” also starts with slow, marching rhythms, but the songs develops first into more midpaced or even blasting playing and then again rapidly slows down so much that it appears like there was something horrid slowly crawling towards you in the dark. “Spectral Domination” for a change hits you with blasts and wall of guitar slaughter from the beginning and to be honest, I think this is one of the best tracks on the whole LP. It is superb, the atmosphere in it is just eerie and cryptic and I love the way Pillard does his vocals. When the band plays fast he still growls relatively slowly. If you remember the Treebeard character from “Lord of the Rings”, this Ent was talking in very slow way… He, this is how sometimes Pillard’s vocals sound like when rest of the band speeds up. Listen to “Purulent Quest” and “Lost In the Burial Ground” also, these are another surprisingly fast tracks, so don’t think that Disma is that very doomy band, because you’ll be surprised! There’s quite a lot of drum bashing, blasts that will hit you with great force.

Anyway, I don’t think there’s any point describing each track from "Towards the Megalith". The whole LP is just as heavy as the… hmm, megalith, and Disma never loses the quality. Throughout the whole album they keep playing great, sometimes quite memorable riffs and the structures of each track is similar: never to bore you with just one tempo, there will always be some changes, some breaks or whatever… One may say that this death metal is pretty archaic, but I wouldn’t call it this way. Yes, it is old school, but not primitive. The drumming is just great here, the riffs are simple, but not in the bad sense of this word. In the end I can honestly say that I like Disma more than most of the other Incantation-worshipping bands from nowadays scene. I thought that Father Befouled was good, but Disma is even better, they rip the guts outs with merciless strength. So, it turns out it must be one of the best (not just death metal) albums from 2011, definitely. Highly recommended!

Standout tracks: “Spectral Domination”, “Vault of Membros”, “Purulent Quest”, “Lost In the Burial Ground”… I may mention the whole tracklist here!
Final rate: 95/100