Review Summary: The immeasurable weight
Hard rock always walked towards weight and greater speed. Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Slayer or Death, have paved the way for a new generation of bands who shaped their music around heaviness and brutality. "Effigy of the Forgotten" and "Tomb of the Mutilated" are two early examples of this new approach, seeds of a new sub-genre, which will later flourish in bands such as Deeds of Flesh, Cryptopsy, Disgorge, Severe Torture, among many others. Brutal death metal is more diverse than many might think. It features different styles, ranging from hyperactivity (e.g. Cryptopsy) to high tech (e.g. Necrophagist), swinging between extreme heaviness (e.g. early Deeds of Flesh), slam (e.g. Abominable Putridity), brutal sci-fi (e.g. Wormed), groove (e.g. Dying Fetus), traditional (e.g. Suffocation) and contemporary approaches, with all sorts of core-ish influences.
Disentomb is part of a new generation that links past and present. If on the one hand, they carry the tradition of bands like Disgorge, on the other, the band expands horizons, adding newer textures, which are manifested through density and dissonance. The opener "Collapsing Skies" is a reflection of the band's artistic expansion. Never before has Disentomb shown such elegant density. The collapse presents itself as an inescapable inevitability, that we must accept hopelessly, as inert bodies, obediently waiting for the moment when we will be overwhelmed by its immeasurable weight. This overwhelming sensation is ever-present throughout The Decaying Light
, whether in more mid-paced moments as in the opener and title track, or in blistering offerings such as "Indecipherable Sermons of Gloom", "Centuries of Deluge" and "Rebirth Through Excoriation". The balance between the previous songs and doomier outputs like "The Great Abandonment", "Dismal Liturgies" or "Invocation in the Cathedral of Dust", is crucial to The Decaying Light's
The band works as a single organism. The impressive tuning between musicians is remarkable, especially between drums and guitar, which sound like two siamese creatures expelling lethal doses of poison simultaneously. Jordan James' powerful performance also delivers the perfect roar to this crushing behemoth, thus reinforcing the massive and impenetrable cohesion of The Decaying Light
, which benefits from a flawless production.
On a less positive note, I think the album could be shorter. It doesn't have fillers, but 44 minutes seems a bit excessive, causing some unnecessary fatigue to the listener.
In conclusion, The Decaying Light
is a massive undertaking. It's heavy, dense, overwhelming, but also challenging and artistically relevant, being most certainly one of the best brutal death metal albums of 2019.