Dismember
The God That Never Was

Dismember need no introduction or lengthy dissection, so I’ll get right to it. Of the patriarchal Swedish death metal bands of the early 90’s they have been the one band that stayed true and stayed together. However, their last effort on the ill-fated Karmageddon Media, Where Ironcrosses Grow was a little disappointing even if still a enjoyable slab of Dismember carnage. So now armed with a new label and a new bassist (Tobias Christianson replaces Richard Cabeza), album number 8 indeed proves that Where Ironcrosses Grow was indeed a slight step backward and The God That Never Was is arguably the best post Indecent and Obscene album from these reliable death metal stalwarts.I’ll admit after the swathe if nondescript chaos that is the album opening title track, I thought I was in for Where Ironcrosses Grow pt 2, not necessarily a bad thing, but I wasn’t enamored. But then the 2 song combination of “Shadows of the Mutilated” and “Time Heals Nothing” blew me away and displayed the keen sense of controlled savagery that Dismember was known for. The 2 minute mark of “Shadows of the Mutilated” harkens back to one of my favorite latter era Dismember tracks, “Recon Patrol 17” while the chorus and solo at 3:20 of “Time Heals Nothing” is a close as Dismember have come to mimicking their first two efforts in the last 13 years. Two other tracks leap out from this effort, something no tracks from Where Ironcrosses Grow really did: Impressive instrumental “Phantoms (of the Oath)” with its nice solo work and controlled Massive Killing Capacity -ish pace and superb album closer, “Where No Ghost is Holy” possibly the best song Dismember has written in a decade.

The other tracks, while no slouches and display Dismember’s trademark hum, buzz and slice, are more visceral, less melodic, straight to the point stabs of viciousness (“Never Forgive, Never Forget”, “Trail of the Dead”, “Blood For Paradise”), or slower, festering offerings (“Autopsy”, “Into the Temple of Humiliation”, “Feel the Darkness”), but the aforementioned standout tracks are what give The God That Never Was a greater sense of character and ‘wow’ factor that was missing on Where Ironcrosses Grow.

Matt Karki is still….well Matt Karki with his unique, robust shout. Fred Estby plods away on the drums, and David Blomqvist delivers the Sunlight buzz (though done a Sami studios now). And even though we all know Dismember will never top Like an Everflowing Stream, all those stalwart elements combined with tangible sense of renewed vigor (Where Ironcrosses Grow seemed to be going through the motions to these ears) results in an album I’d have to put on par with Death Metal.

Is this going to be great year for Candlelight or what?

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
February 27th, 2006

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