Review Summary: Heavy lies the crown.
By now it’s pretty clear that death metal has become about as expressive as it will ever be. With leanings towards jazz progressions and that all-important, yet somewhat compulsory saxophone that greets wave after wave of pummeling guitar riff and double bass work, there’s little wonder band’s are beginning to feel the sting of an underwhelmed audience. That being said, there is an uprising of sound where acts (both established and new) meld what’s modern with the very foundations of “old-school”. Australia’s Disentomb fall succinctly into this field and while The Decaying Light
may not have the same impactful prowess of their rise to fame half a decade ago but the oft pummeling expressionism of mud-laced death metal runs just rampart enough to stay the course of success.
What’s clear, even as listeners get exactly what they expect from album opener, “Collapsing Skies" is a wall of guttural death metal that is experiments in clinically produced cavernous death metal. The near predictability of The Decaying Light
runs parallel to the monstrous brutality offered at every twist and turn. “Collapsing Skies” maintains a sheer straight-forwardness that continues for the entirety of Disentomb’s third full-length piece, allowing ne’er a moment (save for the closing “Withering”) for the respite or convalescence required simply recover as the retch and chunder of this forty-four minute record runs its course. It’s with no uncertainty that Disentomb’s latest wall of brutal death carries a tone of the tried and true. Each individual component of the Australian based group shine together, helping mold that cataclysmic force that is maturing into longevity, but it’s not until the record’s later half to which the true potential of Disentomb is achieved. “Dismal Liturgies” swelters under its own weight, reaffirming the initial immediateness of hard-hitting quality found on the debut. Sure, the template the band has used throughout is well-maintained here, but it’s the doom filled death march that lifts “Dismal Liturgies” and the likes of “Invocation in the Cathedral of Dust” to a platform of deserving praise.
The Decaying Light
may not have much room for innovation, and there’s definitely not a saxophone to speak of, but it’s the album’s penchant for predictability and (in parts) same-y song structures that prevent Disentomb’s latest from being a truly spectacular example of modern brutal death metal. At forty-four minutes, The Decaying Light
isn’t quite where it needs to be to prevent a notion of “filler”, but what is showcased does in fact stand in the realms of solid as fu
ck death metal. Disentomb sound like they are largely ‘going through the motions’ even if it did take them the better part of five years between releases, and while that’s certainly not a bad thing, there is a level of complacency that just niggles at this album. Thankfully, the gripe is minimal and in most cases worthy of being overlooked in lieu of the album’s many great moments.