The Decaying Light

The sophomore effort from Australia’s Disentomb, Misery was a very late discovery and addition to my 2014 year end list, but that won’t be an issue with the band’s stellar third effort, as I’ve had this beast for a while now, and it’s easily one of the year’s best death metal records, even as we just barely pass the years’ halfway point.

Improved in every way, (including another killer Nick Keller piece of cover art) The Decaying Light is a monstrous, hulking death metal record that, like Misery, blends churning atonal Immolation-ish styled riffs with massive slamming grooves and lopes. And while the blasting aspect of the music is a perfectly competent vortex of nasty, pinch harmonics and blasts, it’s these slower, seismic moments of gravity imploding heaviness that make the record truly special, while never being totally knuckle dragging, over the top slammy/ chugcore ish

Though slightly long at 13 songs and about 44 minutes, every short burst of bludgeoning intensity drips with insidious, but regal majesty. From the moody lurch of opener “Collapsing Skies” to closing instrumental “Withering”, every note in between renders  some form of fever dream breakdown or chest collapsing lurch. Case and point, the start of “Undying Dysphoria”, mid section of the perfectly titled “Indecipherable Sermons of Gloom”  and equally well named “Dismal Liturgies” as well  as the suffocating, almost pure doom  gait of “Invocation in the Cathedral of Dust” hit you right in the chest, compressing your heart and soul into dust. Then you get a track like “The Droning Monolith”, that has a little of everything into a perfect Suffocation meets Immolation meets Devourment landslide of crumbling, blasting, twisty brilliance.

Vocalist Jordan James has a powerful, commanding growl that never veers into to broodle, gurgly realms and the production is a perfect delivery system for this style, rendering those slow, devastating grooves a force of nature on a good stereo system. My only gripes are that I would have preferred 10 slightly longer songs that do the good stuff for longer, rather than the often short lived lifespan of the 13 choppy, short cuts. And second, I would really like to see Disentomb, fully integrate more music like closing”Withering” fully into some of their songs- that would make for something truly special. But still, when its all said and done, another killer Unique Leader release, and a sure fire top death metal album of 2019.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
July 29th, 2019


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