Review Summary: Dyscarnate match monolithic grooves with intense, yet stripped down death metal, with ever improving results.
It feels odd to say that a band as "fundamental" in their sound as Dyscarnate sounds unique as a death metal band, but it's 2017 and here we are. Surrounded by legions of tech-death or more progressive bands, the English trio instead seems content to produce ruthlessly heavy and chunky death metal without much in the way of bells and whistles.
With, uh, With All Their Might, Dyscarnate seems to have capture both the overall aesthetic of their sound and tightened up a lot of their songwriting choices. The cover art, which certainly seems reminiscent of a communist propaganda poster, seems to represent the straightforward, monolithic, co-ordinate nature of the music Dyscarnate puts out. The riffs are often pretty simple, a few chords linked by fast tremolo picking, but like the groove metal forebears Fear Factory the drums sync up to provide an intense aural assault. The overall speed is rarely that fast either, but the tight songwriting seems to smooth out any potential for dragging. The mildly hooky bridges and choruses help keep the momentum high throughout.
What ultimately seals the deal for With All Their Might is the newly refined production and thrashier elements thrown in. Jacob Hansen produced And So It Came To Pass
, but where that album sounded somewhat boxy, his newer effort is a sonic fortress with the same dense feel but far better balance. This lends much greater weight to the album, and helps the less chuggy tracks like Traitors in the Palace
feel fully fleshed out sonically. The arrival of somewhat more direct and thrashy tracks like the superb Backbreaker
really helps diversify the sound when compared to the thuggish Of Mice and Mountains
and Iron Strengthens Iron
. The usual issues with the perhaps oversimplified songwriting not bringing enough standout moments remains, but there is no weakness on a moment to moment basis here.
Lack of guitar solos and other bells and whistles notwithstanding, the sonic assault of With All Their Might capitalizes on the strengths of past releases, and through its very no-nonsense approach to death metal sets itself apart from other modern death metal groups. In spite of a five year break, Dyscarnate seem to have lost nothing in the way of strength.
Iron Strengthens Iron
To End All Flesh Before Me