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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Dismember

Where Ironcrosses Grow

Review by Mike Korn

The metal scene is constantly splitting and fracturing into a multitude of genres and subgenres. In the last few years, we've seen the rise of metalcore, melodic death metal, stoner metal and Gothic metal. This is a sign of a healthy scene, but sometimes one longs for the purity of elder days. The death metal genre in particular has mutated into something a lot brighter and shinier than what it used to be.

Dismember, one of the great Swedish death metal bands, returns after a 5-year hiatus to remind us of what the scene used to be. Their latest effort "Where Ironcrosses Grow" sees them ignoring current trends and instead focusing on the brutality and remorseless crunch that once instilled fear into the hearts of the timid. The grinding guitar sound is reminiscent of the glory days of Sunlight Studios, where this sound began, and the mixture of furious destruction with stomping, memorable grooves and the occasional touch of melody really sums up the whole movement that Dismember was such a mainstay of.

I'd venture to say this is their best record since the classic "Like An Everflowing Stream" of years gone by. If you cherish the grisly savagery of true death metal, this is a definite keeper. If you're a newcomer who thinks Slipknot and In Flames is the real deal, check this out and discover the truth!

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2004 Year Book Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.


Track by Track Review
Where Ironcrosses Grow
Relentless, that's the word that comes to mind when you hear the molten rush of crushing guitar that kicks this off. No samples, no acoustic intro...just full-bore death metal. It takes a while to resolve itself into a coherent form but you are knocked right out by the rawness of this opening cut.
Forged With Hate
The pace doesn't slow much here, but this track is a little more organized and focused than the previous one. It's a real scorcher with some memorable hooks in the chorus...a Dismember trademark.
Me-God
A longer and darker song, this has a bit of a doomy feel to it, mixed with the usual up-tempo hammering. I tend to think this one went on a big too long.
Tragedy of the Faithful
Much in the vein of "Me-God", this has a very gloomy, down-tempo beginning before building into a driving metal  cruncher. The bellowing vocals of Matti Karki seem even stronger here.
Where Angels Fear to Tread
Picking up at the exact moment the previous cut stops, this unleashes monster stomping slower riffs that
will ignite a mosh pit for sure. It's a killer song that shows how powerful  Dismember is with the catchier, doomier sounding stuff. The lyrics are  very powerful as well, describing the Allied bombing of Dresden in WWII.
Sword of Light
This is pretty standard fast Swedish death metal,  not bad at all, but not really standing out that much either.
As The Coins Upon Your Eyes
The most aggressive song on the record, this will really peel the flesh from your bones. Reminiscent of
the wildest Slayer at times; this adds the Swedish sound to powerful  thrash and once again injects just enough melody to hold the interest. A  great cut!
Children of the Cross
This is the all-around slowest song, very  depressing and bordering on complete doom metal. The adrenaline rises on a couple of occasions, but this is mostly an exercise in moody gloominess.
As I Pull the Trigger
Another high speed death metal cut to end the record, but it's pretty typical Dismember and not particularly outstanding.
 
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