Disentomb – Misery

Disentomb are an Australian brutal/technical death metal band that formed back in 2009, and Misery is their second full-length album, released through New Standard Elite. Disentomb bring together the brutal and technical elements of bands like Defeated Sanity, Disgorge, Cryptopsy and their own unique sense of atmosphere and melody in a wholly compelling package of absolute aural devastation. Disentomb have no intention of fundamentally re-evaulating what brutal death metal can or should be. They are pretty single-minded in their apparent determination to create the heaviest, darkest death metal out there. And they don’t do this just by layering blast-beat upon blast-beat, slam upon slam (though there are plenty of blast-beats and slams), or by deliberately using abrasive, poor quality production.

Disentomb churn out riff after riff, each more brutal and complex than the last, with guttural vocals so low they’re borderline indecipherable (and it’s fucking great) Tracks like ‘An Edifice of Archbestial Impurity’ and ‘Vultures Descend’ make use of these elements but also show the band’s willingness to play with unconventional rhythms, stopping and starting again at various intervals, giving your ears a moment to rest before they bludgeon them back in again. Furiously technical and brutal guitar leads riff away beneath the omnipresent rumbling of Disentomb’s vocalist Jord. His vocals are unbelievably guttural and indecipherable but they essentially become another instrument, another layer to the sonic assault that Disentomb are creating here, and it works really well. Further on ‘Megaliths of Despair’ the band slow down the music significantly, bringing in more of a doom metal influence, the kind you might expect to see from a band like Incantation’s doomier, sludgier songs. This influence is used sparsely throughout the other tracks but it helps to break up the faster sections and give a bit more variety to the album.

And the album’s length hits the sweet spot. Keeping the album to 32 minutes long with each song at around the 3 minute mark means that the album never overstays its welcome, which is a genuine concern for many listeners considering the heaviness and abrasive nature of metal this extreme. The production on the album strikes a good balance between being polished (in that it allows room for each instrument to breathe and be easily heard) and being raw (in that it never sounds like studio-fakery). Misery is a very solid brutal death metal album that ticks most of the boxes fans of brutal death metal are looking for.