Review Summary: This is the album Morbid Angel should have made instead of Illud Divinum Insanus.
Disma is a death metal outfit from Clifton, New Jersey who started back in 2005 and after releasing their first demo in 2009 they gathered a following in the underground scene. It is now two years later and Disma unleashes the full-length monster that is "Towards the Megalith" upon the world. The record was released July 19th this year and comes in at about 45 minutes length in total.
The album starts off with the title track "Chaos Apparition" and right off the bat it fires off some raw and heavy riffage crashing down upon the listener. The sound on here is very raw which complements the caliginous and brooding guitar riffs. One of the more interesting aspects that you’ll take notice to is definitely the vocals which are these extremely low guttural bellows that echo throughout the track.
The record rages on with “Chasm of Oceanus” and you really start to notice the amazingly “larger than life” epic sound this record has. This massive monolithic sound eclipses the sun, rips apart the soil and swallows the oceans whole. Disma’s sound on here has a lot in common with something you would hear on a Funeral Doom album. What the band manages to do is keep that raw old school death metal sound while also embracing a lot of the elements that are common in Funeral Doom and they pull this off very well. This is thanks to not only the musicianship between the members but also thanks to the production. It’s clear that they knew exactly what kind of sound they wanted to get out of this record.
“Spectral Domination” is the third track on here and is the supposed single on this record, since the track got released on the label’s website before the album was out. This was a wise choice since “Spectral Domination” is probably one of the best tracks on the album. It starts off with a great guitar riff and blast beats which take you back to the old days of Morbid Angel and then ends with an incredibly bone-crushing slow breakdown as the vocalist Craig Pillard shouts “Hammered into dust…”. It is absolutely magnificent.
There are a lot of great riffs here which really add to the whole overbearing atmosphere of this album and they mix the typical 80s, early 90s death metal riffs with the wailing and echoing guitars that you would find right at home with bands like “Ahab”. However, you probably won’t find that many memorable or catchy riffs here. There’s also no guitar solos, which I think the band could have pulled off quite well judging by some of the lighter notes they play on here. This is kind of unfortunate since an epic guitar solo could have really complemented this album.
The drums on here are great; there are a lot of amazing blast beats and double pedal moments that just shred everything in its away. However, there are also moments that are much slower and have varied beats with a lot of usage of the toms. Pretty much all the instruments and the vocals work extremely well together on “Towards the Megalith” and nothing really falls behind.
Lyrically, Disma doesn’t stray too far away from a lot of the other death metal bands out there. You will not find much gore-inspired lyrics here though, but instead you get some lyrics that go well with the whole epic theme the band has going on this album. It all fits together perfectly with the instruments, vocals, lyrics and even the great artwork on the cover. Even the title itself has the word Megalith in it which makes you think of something really grand and monumental.
It feels like Disma realy outdid themselves with "Towards the Megalith", almost every aspect of this album blends in extremely well and creates a mountainous sound surrounding this record. I think that both fans of old school death metal and fans of funeral doom will find this album very appealing. It is raw, it is heavy, it is big and it is absolutely excellent.