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Never Exhausted - 83%

OzzyApu, September 28th, 2011

After a push into melodeath territory, Dismember knew whatever they did needed to be firmly rooted in death metal. Dismember’s third was death metal pushed to its melodic boundaries while still remaining death metal. Nonetheless, that style was a thing of the past, because for Dismember’s fourth, they’d go in the opposite direction. Thus comes Dismember’s Death Metal, and worthy of that album title, since this is the band’s heaviest album next to Indecent & Obscene.

Whereas Indecent & Obscene was a vile, morbid release, Death Metal is more refined and with a twist of grindcore in the tenor. The chainsaw guitar tone straight out of the Swedish death metal manual is coarse as hell. This tone, while always rugged and harsh, now has a craggy abrasiveness to it. Meaning a sharper tip compared to Massive Killing Capacity. Bass follows along the riffs with sumptuous support, trailing between expeditious tunes like “Trendkiller” and “Live For The Fear (Of Pain)” and slower monstrosities such as “Stillborn Ways” and “Mistweaver”. The boom supplemented by Cabeza creates a thickness to the atmosphere, one that was miniscule on Massive Killing Capacity yet kept on every other Dismember album. By way of these tones, the riffs do not let them go to waste, offering some pulverizing moments like on “Live For The Fear (Of Pain)” where Sennebäck’s rough assault meets Blomqvist’s compelling harmonies. That’s Dismember’s combination, and it never fails on any of Death Metal’s tracks from first to last.

Kärki’s roars as well as he did as a kid and as remorseless as he does now. These growls are brusque and cruel, with no frailty to them whatsoever. Anyone looking for non-gutteral, ferocious growls would be at home here – no screams, no cleans. Front to back, Death Metal is a beastly album with only a couple slow tracks. However, no song can hide from Estby’s hostile drumming. His double bass gallops and the resilient snare blasts take place on a kit that’s a little colder for the material at hand, but it’s something that’ll be more comforting with more listens. Nothing shallow or plastic, but hoping for a more thriving kit sound may be asking too much for the time period. At heart, the flow is what matters, and Estby, along with everyone else, is able to drift into the winding rhythms and currents of Dismember’s sophisticated chaos.

This was Dismember’s last album with the classic line-up. At one point just five teens that made my favorite death metal album, Like An Ever Flowing Stream, to have now gone their separate ways. Kärki and Blomqvist still remain, but I’ll remember these albums of the past, with their balance of death metal savagery and melodic intricacy. Then again, it’s not like the band forgot how to do this, so whatever they continue to put out will be judged and hopefully up to the standards set before. With Dismember, the bar was already as high as it could go from the beginning, so anything after, is (to an extent) fair game.

Trendkiller: Dismembering The Unfaithful Ones - 90%

Tlacaxipehualiztli, September 16th, 2011

„Death Metal”, the fourth album of Swedes from Dismember isn’t the metal slab which can dethrone their bestial and immortal debut “Like An Ever Flowing Stream”. Of course “Death Metal” isn’t bad stuff as well, but I have an impression that the album is named desperately a bit (I will explain it later). After two great efforts and third rather mediocre in my opinion “Massive Killing Capacity”, the band had to prove they were still active on the battlefield called death metal. 1997 is the year of releasing this slab of Swedish metal and one thing is obvious: I can hear the same music, the same way of production, the same metal. Are there any changes? Maybe I have to write about mass of melody in song structures? Yes, melody in death metal… all right, don’t expect here In Flames dishwash, or commercial gothic sad guitar sighs, but there is one album I compare “Death Metal” with. Its name “Slaughter Of The Soul” released in 1995 by At The Gates. This album became some kind of determinant of a new wave in Swedish (melodic) death metal. And so as “Slaughter” is average, rather monotonous and just overrated stuff for me, here Dismember work stands proudly with flag of very good death performance. In two words – sound (of music) kills. It is really the essence of specific Swedish sound, nothing is changed from the infamous debut, just like Sunlight Studio, so everything is clear: mass of ‘dirt’ in guitars, down tuned bass, just hear it and know the basis of Swedish death metal. Ok, the production helped the band as always, but what Dismember did with their music?

Just like album title says, Swedes had to record death metal compositions. And I proudly declare to all concerned that title doesn’t lie. To make this review easy, I divided all the tracks into three groups. The first one: there are direct, straight forward death metal tracks, some faster like “Trendkiller”, “When Hatred Killed The Light” or “Ceremonial Comedy”, some slower with mid-paced riffs: “Let The Napalm Rain”, “Killing Compassion”. Speaking frankly about these tunes I have to admit this is the weakest group on the album. However the weakest doesn’t mean the weak in general, although two songs are really bestial killer: “Trendkiller”, believe me, also in this case title says it all, and “Let The Napalm Rain” (better find a shelter!). The second group is much better, but it contains only two excellent shots. Yep, I wrote shots… in this case the better description should sound: excellent vises, because “Stillborn Ways” and “Mistweaver” are… doom songs! It seems I become insane and previous sentence looks nonsensically a bit. The first track is opened by bass intro, hard, heavy and very slow riffs, maybe there are minimal faster tunes in the middle, but for me it is like Candlemass started to play death metal; on the end quite long yet fine solo. With the second one the situation is the same, however some violin tunes opened the song. And I didn’t find here any speed, pure doom for me definitely.

All right, let’s jump into toxic fume of the last third group. And to put it briefly, the best one. These songs are fast (or mostly fast) with one distinguishing element: melody. Each child on the world knows that Dismember pleased the metal senses by original and not commonplace melodies (like “Override Of The Overture”, “Dismembered”, “In Death’s Sleep”, “Dreaming In Red”). This album isn’t exception and the first song from the album “Of Fire” is just affirmative proof of my words: memorable group of riffs and quasi-solo lead (repeated later two times) by Blomqvist, slow down in the middle with marching guitar and rhythm section with guitar lead divided into two parts. Really good work on the start. In the same vein: the third killer on the album “Misanthropic” (here I found some similarities to the second Dissection album due to catchy guitar structures), the fifth “Live For The Fear (Of Pain)” (weaker than the previous ones, it is simple track, good song for the “Slaughter…” At The Gates) and the eight “Bred For War”, but here melodious tunes could be better. Ok, if somebody is good at math, then one song is missing. Damn it, this missing track is entitled “Silent Are The Watchers” and I consciously left it on the end. This is very controversial bloody thing. Why? Because these almost four minutes are very light (even un-heavy???) and the question coming from my heart is simple: do watchers fit to the entirety? The essence of the matter is obvious: this song is a real highlight in Dismember discography, even I found many no (!) death metal details, especially the heavy metal melodies which attack from the very first second. This opening guitar quasi-lead, which in fact softens the song, will be repeated later, but the best is yet to come. And I do not write about catchy riffs, but about excellent guitar moment and superb solo lead. Sounds eminently indeed! Just strip it of this specific sound and heavy metal band enters the stage. During first listenings to “Death Metal”, I considered “Silent Are The Watchers” as the best track. And nowadays I can write the same, so the answer sounds: this song perfectly fits to the remainder. Silent are the watchers? No! Loud are the listeners!

I wrote many words earlier about my feelings concerning the naming of this album. I know the late of the nineties wasn’t good for playing death metal, it was out of fashion, but I have to signalize one thing: the fourth effort of Dismember isn’t the best death metal release for sure and the title could be quite different. Look-over on the track list and everything becomes clear: TRENDKILLER! Great word yet short and straight forward for hard times! Dismember is very unique band, deeply rooted in the Swedish underground. Look at their comrades: which band was able to play such a great stuff those days? There was either non existence or change of music style… So I have a big respect to them, they still keep the death metal flag, maybe some releases are perfect, some only good, but in this case I am totally convinced I won’t be a witness of any change.

Stab it or grab it - 75%

autothrall, April 25th, 2010

I remember first picking this album up when it was released, and thinking how profound a statement it was to exclaim the album title, Death Metal, in an age where many of Dismember's peers were drifting off into more melodic territory; and their 'co-founder' of the Sunlight sound Entombed taking the death'n'roll a little too far. Ironically, this was one of Dismember's more melodic records to date (alongside Like an Everflowing Stream); though the band's tone is harsher than peers like In Flames or Dark Tranquillity, there was a similar sense of glorious, thrust and charge not unlike Slaughter of the Soul, which was by this time making massive ripples across the world (especially here in the US).

Regardless, as one of the pioneers of the style, Dismember is entitled to a little glory, and Death Metal was a fairly fetching album for its day. The mix of the album is a little less polished than its predecessor Massive Killing Capacity, and I rather prefer this dark, treacherous approach. I also prefer the song's more evil tracks like the bombastic groove of "Let the Napalm Rain" or "Stillborn Ways" to the more melodic "Of Fire" or the album's single, "Misanthropic". The latter half of this disc is consistently brutal, providing further churning memories in "Bred for War", "When Hatred Killed the Light" and "Ceremonial Comedy". "Silent Are The Watchers" pumps out some purely Maiden guitar melodies, which make a nice balance for the heavier groove of the verse. "Mistweaver" ends the album on a death/doom note.

'Nothing brings me greater joy
than the memory of when I
wiped that smile from your lips
the look of horror in your eyes
as I pulled out a gun
and pointed it at your face'

Death Metal has that good old Sunlight veneer that so many bands of today are trying to emulate, and aggression in spades, though often tempered through a more accessible array of melodic hooking. Dismember are one of those bands I have consistently enjoyed, yet never felt capable of producing a masterwork. They don't really have a Left Hand Path, or even a Clandestine. 12 years later, I still haven't heard one. This a good album, as are many releases, but not quite so profound a statement as its title would imply. I still favor Dismember's debut above the rest, but this and Massive Killing Capacity are decent if you enjoy the style.

Highlights: Let the Napalm Rain, Stillborn Ways, When Hatred Killed the Light


The Swedish sound. - 97%

Shadespawn, March 20th, 2009

Although seemingly uninspired concerning the album title, Dismember's "Death Metal" is a modern slab of the Swedish death metal sound. After an identical demo title by USA's Possessed in 1984, Dismember record yet another juggernaut of aggressive discharge translated into music. Promising a return to the roots of raw, savage and relative lawless of their onset "Like an Ever Flowing Stream" back in 1991, the music reflects the visions of a destroyed and distorted imagery of society and the future. While not actually returning to their roots, they have managed to progress in a not half-bad manner.

The similar characteristics of Swedish death metal bands are for one, the heavy, massive guitar sound that is omni-present (be it At the Gates or Entombed), the overall weighty power with which the riffs collide onto the listeners ears and the generic aggressiveness animated by society. The differences are obvious in the slight individual differences of the sole instruments and of course the vocalists, who each has his own vocal tinct. Dismember were always very straightforward when it comes to presenting their pain and aggression. Their "Death Metal" album makes no exception. Without compromise the Swedish moloch demolishes everything in its path with a vengeance. Their instrument is purity in their execution, expressing absolute dominance with sagging simple riffs, riffs that impress due to their destructive nature. This is created by emphasizing metric progression in awesome structures with determined drumming and powerful vocal deliveries coated with allegorical lyrics. The cunning design of each song is a single minded entity with the sole purpose of releasing massive amounts of anger, while at the same time sounding very epic and foul. Syncopical riff structure is paved by solid drumming through each song.

Flaws often occurring from over-production or even good production tear and plague a large number of modern day heavy metal albums. The relative good production of Dismember's "Death Metal" holds the pieced together, without sounding over-produced, pseudo-aggressive or smooth. Furthermore, onesidedness isn't a word these death metal masters have in their dictionary. Almost every aspect of human anxiety is captured on 12 carefully selected songs. A truthful album for loyal heavy metal fans that presents no doubt or compromise, while at the same time sounding modern and unified. A rare gem in modern day metal. An absolute must-have.

Aggression Meets Melodies Once Again - 89%

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, November 20th, 2008

Death Metal is an album that continues the more melodic road this band took with Massive Killing Capacity. As you know, Dismember during the 90s passed through this evolution and this is probably brought by the naissance and the growth of the melodic death metal in Sweden. By the way, if they turned to be more melodic, their violence is still the one of a pure death metal band and this album is here to prove it to all of you. Death Metal is more than probably the album of the consecration for his band because it contributed a lot to spread their name back then.

This album can easily labelled as a mix of the brutal assaults of the first two albums with the melody of Massive Killing Capacity. Where that album was a bit slower, this new one is a way between, mixing perfectly brutality to melody. The general tempo is faster and the groovy riffs are less present. They achieved the goal of creating a sort of melody on speed; a kind of melody that was perfect for faster tempo parts without being so different from the recent past. “Of Fire” is the small masterpiece of this album because it’s fast, really catchy and melodic. The riffs are always sharp as razors and the production is ultra clear and pounding. The drums are almost plastic but not annoying at all.

The rhythmic riffs are melodic as well and they don’t leave the scene completely to the lead lines. The palm muting riffs are less “classic death metal” but more Swedish and “modern” if we want for the period. The slow stops are fantastic and the solos even more. “Trendkiller” is more canonical on the riffs and more brutal. They are again old school and the vocals are far more nasty and screamed. Unfortunately, the production doesn’t exalt them a lot and the volumes must be high to hear them well. By the way, metal music should always be played loud! With “Misanthropic” we return to the recent evolution with more melodic or simply catchier elements.

The speed is always high but we find the great “Let the Napalm Rain” to come into some good mid-paced tunes. The groove is fantastic on this song and really capturing. Everything is dark, massive and apocalyptic with sinister war sounds on the background and the following “Live For the Fear (Of Pain)” is a return to speed with the present lead lines and catchy parts. “Stillborn Ways” is not fantastic but shows a great burden of darkness. The riffs are too grooving in some parts but nothing serious…surely “Killing Compassion” is much more convincing with its fast parts and less melodies.

“Bred For War” is remarkable for its obsessive and dramatic aura. The tempo is not so fast on the first part but really dark and the restarts are by the middle section. “When Hatred Killed the Light” erases the melody to point of the sheer, fierce death metal and “Ceremonial Comedy” is fantastic in some parts for the punkish up tempo under the open chords riffs. These parts are always reminiscent of the first wave of grind/death metal during the less fast pace. “Silent Are the Watches” is attractive again for the melodies but this time is a bit less memorable in some parts, still remaining good. The last “Mist Weaver” features, surprisingly, a viola to sustain the doom progression and the dark melodies. Nothing special and it falls by the end in ideas.

This Death Metal is a good album that has a big song, “Of Fire” and some well-developed tunes. The rest can be described as: “goodish but not exceptional”. If this is a return to speed after the album before, the ideas we could find in that Massive Killing Capacity are less developed. The mark is representative for the album itself and if it’s the same of the first two albums, you must make a big distinction because this is more melodic and catchy. All in all, it’s recommended for those who appreciated the old school songs with the drops of melodies of the most recent ones.

Full of melody and aggression - 85%

Dark_Mewtwo1, August 8th, 2008

Dismember has quite a track record in the world of death metal, what with an absolute classic under their belt and a sophomore effort just as worthy of praise. On this album, Dismember continues their tried and true path of Swedish aggresion, albeit with a little more added in.

I've never understood the complaints about melody within this band's music. It has been a staple in their formula since the beginning. Death Metal uses Iron Maiden's sense of melody to break through the powerful music to add a different angle to an already stellar formula. Tracks like Live For the Fear (of Pain) and the awesome Of Fire use the melodic riff as its main focus, backed by punishing drum work courtesy of Fred Estby and a solid rhythm section which never skips a beat. They still adhere to the Swedish tradition of fast and heavy and punky on Trendkiller and Bred For War, never losing a step, and not allowing the listener to breathe. The Autopsy influence is here as well, the crushing Mistweaver closes the album on a high note, a towering, soaring track which ends up being one of Dismember's heaviest tracks. Matti is a madman on vocals throughout the album, and while this may not be his best performance, he still delivers the goods.

The whole album is pretty solid, but when you hit track 7 or so, the album starts to meander a bit, such are the perils of having too many tracks on a death metal album. Shortened up by a few tracks, this would have been an instant classic. It is what it is, and for the most part, Death Metal gives you some strong material to chew on. They managed to rebound nicely from the previous effort, creating an album that combines melody and aggression in a punishing package. In Flames this is not folks, this is good, solid death metal.

Great Dismember album - 83%

Milo, January 30th, 2005

This is traditional, heavy as hell Swedish death metal with some melodic touches. The songs seem to be divided between “melodic” and “non-melodic”. The riffage does not have much of that traditional grinding sound from Florida, relying much more in a harsher guitar tone.

The songs are not that complex. What we have here is pretty standard for Swedish DM. The time is mostly fast, sometimes changing into midtempo or even doom-slow. The drumming is simple, just standard rhythms and minimalist fills.The lead guitar varies according with the presence of melody: The less melodic songs have shredded solos and the more melodic songs have more elaborated solos. In terms of structure, the songs are straightforward: High speed, verse, chorus, verse, some time changes, breaks although some songs that are distinct from the predominant formula pop up: “Mistweaver” and “Stillborn Ways”, which are two creepy, sludgy death metal songs. “Let The Napalm Rain” is mostly midpaced and very heavy. The other characteristic is the use of melody, which gives a whole lot of catchiness to the album. Wow, those riffs won’t get out of your head until you listen to something different and the way the ideas are wrapped together is also pretty memorable. Songs like “Of Fire”, “Misanthropic” and “Live For the Fear (of Pain)” are all great songs, the latter being the highlight of the album. People may even bitch about Dismember going “Gothenburg” or commercial, but I just don’t care, as the results are very nice. There are 5 “melodic” songs here, and the rest is fast, heavy swedish DM.

The guitar tone is nothing like US death metal. It’s much harsher and is a great response to people who say this is commercial. “Bred For War” crushes you to death, with riffs of all speed and that guitar tone. It’s even harsher than “Clandestine”. The muddy production is also responsible for such a heavy, noisy tone. “Mistweaver” reminds me Celtic Frost’s “Procreation of the Wicked”, but even dirtier. “Stillborn Ways” works in the same fashion, but it has a melodic solo to contrast with the main idea of the song. The vocals also contribute for the overall atmosphere of the album. About the vocals, one can say they are an extreme version of thrash (Max Cavalera comes to mind), just like Entombed. Harsh, few screams and not exactly growled. The riffage has a little bit of complexity, although this album is far from “techinical”. Nothing here is exactly banal. I’ve been hearing people saying that “Death Metal” has too much songs and some filler. Maybe “Trendkiller” and “Killing Compassion” are not that distinct from the other songs, but hey, they have some decent riffs and it won’t hurt to listen to them. And there’s no problem with having 12 songs in a album when the all are very solid.

Resuming, this is variated death metal, with some killer riffs, nice melody use and pretty heavy and memorable. A pretty good Dismember album.

Making burgers jealous since 1997 - 88%

stickyshooZ, November 8th, 2004

One day I was going to my local burger place so I could satisfy my hunger with meaty sustenance. I wanted to try something new, so I asked the fast food place to give me the biggest, meatiest, and most tasty burger that they could make. I drove up to the window and was given two buns and a piece of plastic in the middle. As I took a bite, I clamped down hard on the piece of plastic and became outraged that such a respectable burger place would suggest that plastic is the best thing they could come up with when making a burger. I ran up to the front window and screamed at the top of my lungs for my money back.

Soon after, I was calmed down and the guy working the window suggested that I take the CD out and play it in my stereo, and that I’d see the reality of why they gave me this little disc. I was skeptical, but I agreed. I put it into my CD player in my car and waited for the meal to begin. Soon after the music started, shit loads of crunchy lettuce guitars, sweetened vocal buns, tender meat drums, and saucy melody condiments were flying out of my speakers and all of the holes in my car and nourished my starving ears. Whoa, what the Hell just happened?

I was drowning in Heaven. I was consuming Dismember’s “Death Metal” burger at incredible rates. Holy shit, this concoction is no fucking joke. You know those meals that you rarely hear about, but once you take the chance to look for it, you fall in love? For those looking - welcome home. “Death Metal” is half death, half melodic, and all badass.

The burger is saturated with some sweetbread vocals that give a basic outline for the appearance of such a tasty morsel. Matti’s way of singing is like biting into sweet and sour bread – some people love it right away, and others find it to be bittersweet until they lay this bread onto a more structured burger with actual taste, like crunchy lettuce guitars, thick and juicy tomato bass, and tender meat drums. You can’t bite into this mean machine until you taste all of it for what it is. Though, for what they are, Matti’s vocals add a nice dash of flavor with a unique rage of hellfire bellowing. This bread couldn’t possibly be made by anyone else in that insanity chamber – only Matti has the mental instability to do it.

What burger would be complete without crunchy, wet, and fresh guitar lettuce? This secret guitar lettuce is brewed from David Blomqvist and Magnus Sahlgren in the beautiful fields of Stockholm Sweden, but no one has been able to figure out what makes their guitar lettuce so crunchy and delicious. Both members declined an interview, but we can only assume that they’re putting addictive amphetamines in their guitars to make them so damn sweet and addictive. I’ve yet to find a band that possesses such a unique fire in their guitars and heavy hitting rhythms. Lay these chewy death metal leaves underneath the vocal bread and you’re almost halfway to being in the presence of a delicious meal.

Richard Cabeza makes juicy tomatoes with his bass and gives the lettuce some lead way into delivering more of a hefty burger to customers. In songs like “Stillborn Ways” you get to taste more bass than usual as it chugs along and resides in your face, leaving you begging to chew into those lumps of bass lycopene. Heinz ketchup would be jealous if they knew of Richard Cabeza’s existence, because he definitely puts their bulbous tomatoes to shame.

Estby’s drumming gives us a nice slab of meat to work with – nothing too greasy and flashy, but nothing dry and dull. He pounds, pounds, and pounds some more while managing to keep the balance between what makes a burger a burger and what breaks the boundaries of burgerdom. The burger comes in various forms, which have hyper accelerated songs and more down to earth, heavy death metal songs. Essentially, you can expect to be able to get your burger in many different ways – small, medium, large, etc. Why, it’s almost a dream come true for death metal!

Oh, and who can forget the secret melody sauce? Dismember manage to infuse their musical food with this sauce, but never overdo it like most of their peers (In Flames and bands as such) do. They focus on the burger first before applying the sweetness to it, because when it comes down to it, they are a death metal band, so they need to focus on doing that first before getting tasty. You can expect heavy and meat laden riffing before you get a melodic riff, but still, the melody will always be with Dismember. Parts like “Let The Napalm Rain” display superb death metal riffs that make you want to headbang vigorously while eating that big, beefy burger.

Gothenburg can’t touch it. Br00tal death metal bands want to be it. But there is only one Dismember to rule the melodic death burger chain. “Death Metal” may not be their craziest work (Like An Ever Flowing Stream takes the crown for that) but it’s damn solid and great for what it is. Heavy riffing, great death metal vocals, and consistent reliability rule this winning album.

So, why isn’t this fine thing released into mainstream stores? The reason is because it’s too good. With Dismember’s “Death Metal” burger alone, any small business restaurant could put the big corporations out of business and capitalize off of their failures as they are shunned by everyone, they drop out of school, quit work, move to California, turn to drugs, and die alone in a secluded ally somewhere. Okay, that was a mean, but trust me, I’m right. In all seriousness, this album is badass – buy it.

Solid work... - 79%

Snxke, August 21st, 2004

Dismember are a band that seems to change with every record they release. It's unfortunate for them, that their debut (if I need to mention the greatness of "Like an Ever Flowing Stream" you might be reading the wrong review) was an impossible record to follow. Even so, the band has admirably torn through new releases of varying quality that have never lacked enthusiam, if they've been somewhat poor in the compositional sense. "Death Metal" though, is a roiling beast that defines a better vibe for what should be called "melodic death metal" than anything I have heard before and since. The mix is thick and churns like a furnace, the musicianship is first rate and the whole concept seems to have "the fire" flowing through it's blackened veins. Is this a worthy follow up to "Like an Ever Flowing Stream"? Nah. This is just a good death metal record with some solid hooks...

The opening blast of "On Fire..." hammers along appropriately and the massive "Let the Napalm Rain" roars with a convincing rage. The rest of the material alternates between twisted antonal-death blasts and Iron Maiden styled breakdowns. Unlike most supposedly "melodic" death metal these songs are written to be death metal first - melodically sound second. While a few filler tracks pop up here and there (this record has TOO many songs) the overall feel is powerful and progressive. Many hate this record for it's melodic leanings - but I find it to be strong and thoughtful compared to much of the bands catalog.

Dismember have popped out a good blast of Swedish rage on this one. Thankfully, the band haven't tried competing with themselves as they probably know that their legacy was set in stone and remained forever chained to their first release. While ta burden like that are difficult to deal with, they are also allow a band to free themselves to do as they please.

Dismember are a good band on this release...hardly the band that released the debut of all death metal debuts but a good band all the same. If you like Dismember, death metal or anything Swedish...pick this up.

Labeled For Perfection... - 86%

PowerMetalGuardian, June 20th, 2004

Labeled "Death Metal," Dismember's fourth full-length album packs a lot of punches. I think the title fits the music extremely perfect. This is death metal at it's best. I have heard people saying that it differs a lot from there previous stuff, but I am not to sure on that.

All I really know is what is right in front of me - a damn good album. The first thing that stood out at me about this album was the drumming. Usually in fast death metal you see straight blast beats. This drumming hardly does that, and uses a lot of variation and cool drum fills. The riffs are pretty good to. This album tends to keep away from the sour progression of power chords; instead littering the album with technical guitar riffs. It really doesn't matter where you look, because every where has a decent to kick ass riff.

There's not much I can say from the bass because there is no stand out work or performance. There is definitely more emphasis on the singing and guitar work, with its old-slayer like guitar solos. The singing is very good on this album. It manages it posture throughout the entire album and does not get sloppy. Production also rules on this album. There are a lot of added sounds and instruments that makes the album more enjoyable.

Every metal fan should have this one. It is, for the most part, fast with some slower doom like riffs. This album sounds a lot like old Morbid Angel, which is always a plus. Some good songs to check out are: Of Fire, Misanthropic, Let the Napalm Rain, Stillborn Ways, and Silent are the Watchers (which is very In Flames like, the only song on this album which is remotely close to their neighboring Gothenburg, Sweden).

The title kinda says it all - 86%

Pyrus, June 2nd, 2003

Okay, let me put it this way - the album is fucking CALLED 'Death Metal.' Anyone with the sack to call their album 'Death Metal' needs to play some badass fucking music to back it up. And indeed, Dismember do - they rip, shred, and growl their way through forty minutes of making Gothenburg look like the pussiest place on earth, and Cannibal Corpse like hopelessly untalented amateurs.

There's no false advertising here. Grinding, roaring riffs back up high-speed, Maiden-possessed-by-Satan lead guitars, while some really good basswork plugs away under it all. Vocalist Matti Kärki spits out lines like "Comrade or enemy, I just don't care!" and "Living ghost behind a spirt-killing face/Stillborn ways of a mindfucking race" with enough power to make Anders Frieden crap himself. And the drums? The drums just RAWK.

The best songs on the album are "Silent Are the Watchers," one of several anti-religion tirades; its topical brother "Let the Napalm Rain"; and the dark Crusader horror-fantasy "Bred For War." The first is a high-speed vehicle for hellish lead guitar duets, the second an Apocalyptic anthem of crushing guitars and enraged singing ("The free will shall carry the day, drop the bomb and wash the filth away/LET THE NAPALM RAIN!"), and the third a vicious steamroller of a song with stomping double bass that rolls through several time changes with no thoughts of mercy.

Other highlights are the opener "Of Fire," a fast-paced paean to war with one of the catchiest lead guitar parts ever and a stomping middle section, and "Stillborn Ways," a slow and doomy juggernaut with riffs like the audio equivalent of two-ton anvils falling from the sky. The rest don't really stand out in any way, with the exception of "Trendkiller" (something of an exercise in speed for the sake of speed), but they're all good, solid death metal tracks that demand for the stereo to be cranked, the windows to be opened, and the throat to be flayed raw snarling along.

Plus, there's an impaled nun on the cover, and you CAN'T go wrong with that. Hell, it's why I bought the album when I was first getting into metal several years back..."Hey, it's a nun with a spear through her! I bet my mom will HATE that!" And is there really any better reason to buy an album? I think not. Check it out - real fucking metal. Real fucking death.