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Dismantle > Enter the Forbidden > Reviews
Dismantle - Enter the Forbidden

Stairway to Oblivion. - 83%

hells_unicorn, April 29th, 2013

California has perhaps the most extensive history insofar as thrash metal goes, and not just with regard to the explosion in the San Francisco Bay Area during the late 80s. Although the traditional and glam metal were more a staple of the general Los Angeles area during the 80s, it was also the birthplace of pioneering act Metallica along with fellow southern California natives Slayer. So it is fitting to see affiliates of the ongoing revival rising through the ranks further south of the Bay Area. While many of the prime movers of the style in the 80s have been generally caught up in the modern groove craze, there are some younger acts that are rediscovering the old ways, and among them is a power trio from Rosemead going by the name of Dismantle.

In contrast to a number of eastern European and Brazillian acts of late that are pretty well obsessed with recreating the madness of Slayer and Possessed, this outfit comes off as a bit more eclectic in their influences and consequently don't have the same level of stylistic uniformity and brevity ruling their songwriting. "Enter The Forbidden" is definitely a multifaceted beast that makes frequent use of haunting interludes, crunchy mid-tempo grooves and the obligatory mosh inspiring speed sections to churn out a series of moderate length epics that create an auditory vision of horror, but more of a nuanced and otherworldly variety that would become more a staple of the early occult oriented works of the transitional death metal bands of the late 80s.

The resulting variety of musical depictions of looming darkness are a good reflection of the broader character of the 80s Bay Area, though dwelling more upon the lyrical pursuits of darker bands rather than dabbling in the environmental and political aspects that became widespread in the late 80s. "Illusions" definitely takes some nods from the mid-tempo mishmash of clean and distorted aggression that typified later 80s Megadeth. Similarly, more up tempo and violent numbers like "Enter The Forbidden" and "Gateways" that listen a bit closer to the model set by Slayer also have a highly melodic character to them and a level of restrained and frequent breaks from the moshing frenzy that is heavily reminiscent of early Exodus. Then again, the dissonant to the point of being death metal "The Lost Dimension" throws in a heap of early Death and even some early Cannibal Corpse sounding riffs and the occasional blast beat that throws the whole formula for a total loop, though it avoids the guttural vocal trappings and retains an essential thrash character.

Basically everything about this album and the musicians involved proves to be an exercise in balancing the extreme with a sense of subtle moderation. The guitar solos are definitely titled towards a chaotic approach in line with death metal, but the riff work and general song structure is a bit more methodical and symmetrical. As a whole, this album dances pretty close into the death/thrash circle, and is largely kept out of it by the vocals of Adam Gonzales (aka Adam Warrior) which sound pretty similar to the higher end gruff of Death Angel's Mark Osegueda. All of this results in a sound that is definitely fresh and fierce, and one that should be looked into by anyone who still wants more of what California had to offer circa 1987 and doesn't mind the production being a bit louder and drier.