Holy Wrath

“Black,” the first song on Holy Wrath, the debut album by Latvian band Diseim, is an absolutely fantastic death metal song. Big, groovy riffs; odd time signatures; a melodic-without-being-wimpy chorus; guttural, double tracked vocals; and simply great songwriting. It makes a loud, bold statement.

Aaaannndddd… I should just leave it at that. I kind of wish they had, because nothing else on the album quite lives up to it. The problem is that a fair portion of the material on Holy Wrath is kind of bland doom that doesn’t strive to have much of an identity. The crawling riffs of “Holy Wrath,” “Sinner,” and “Agony” should be either crushing or atmospheric, but achieve neither. Every one of the doomier songs has some more upbeat sections to try to give them some life. It works a little, but as a fan of doom and sludge I shouldn’t be looking at my watch during the slow riffs, waiting for an upbeat chorus to come along.

The more aggressive songs are mostly mid-paced and not terribly creative. “Pyromania” and “Insanity” are serviceable, old-school death metal songs but just feel sort of lifeless. Some guitar solos would really provide a spark, but there aren’t any at all.

The only songs that come close to the quality of “Black” are “Son of the Winter,” and “Witch.” The former has a driving, sinister quality with great riff variation and more passionate vocals than there are on most of the rest of the album. “Witch” has their best, most stomping doom riffs followed by some upbeat thrash.

Holy Wrath has a very old-school and analog sounding death metal production, which is a double-edged sword. As you would expect it sounds simply terrific on the death metal songs but then it’s just too thin on the doomy stuff. Part of this is probably how the bass guitar is EQ’d. It has a really thwonking attack that makes it as clear and audible as the guitars when everything is blasting away, but the sustain just isn’t there to give the slow parts the depth they need. On the other hand, I love how the drums are mixed, with booming kick drums you feel more than hear.

I just wish that the things that work were used more. What’s frustrating is that Holy Wrath sounds half-assed. Diseim demonstrate how much they’re capable of with three of the songs but otherwise are content with mediocrity. That’s just too bad because they could have done a lot better. The album cover is cool, though.



[Visit the band's website]
Written by Andrew Young
April 18th, 2012


  1. Commented by: E. Thomas

    Listened to this today- im digging it, especially the twangy rumbly bass. got a Chicago metal (Cianide) vibe.

Leave a Reply

Privacy notice: When you submit a comment, your creditentials, message and IP address will be logged. A cookie will also be created on your browser with your chosen name and email, so that you do not need to type them again to post a new comment. All post and details will also go through an automatic spam check via Akismet's servers and need to be manually approved (so don't wonder about the delay). We purge our logs from your meta-data at frequent intervals.

  • Moisson Livide - Sent Empèri Gascon
  • Cognitive - Abhorrence
  • Duft - Altar of Instant Gratification
  • Amiensus - Reclamation: Part 1
  • Baron - Beneath the Blazing Abyss
  • Mütiilation - Black Metal Cult
  • Arð - Untouched By Fire
  • Kerry King - From Hell I Rise
  • Trocar - Extremities
  • Vesperian Sorrow - Awaken the Greylight
  • From Dying Suns - Calamity
  • Volcandra - The Way of the Ancients
  • Kosuke Hashida - Justifiable Homicide
  • The Dread Crew of Oddwood - Rust & Glory
  • Six Feet Under - Killing For Revenge