Disentomb – The Decaying Light (Review)

Disentomb - The Decaying LightThis is the third album from Australian brutal death metallers Disentomb.

I’ve seen Disentomb live a few times over the years, and they’ve always impressed with their energetic brutality. I have to say that The Decaying Light is not what I expected, as alongside the utter brutality I was prepared for, there’s an intricacy and depth of delivery here which caught me off guard.

Yes, Disentomb, while undeniably nasty as Hell in the most direct of ways, also have a dissonant darkness in them that manifests as cold, murky intensity and technical, atmospheric, obscurity.

Leaving their slam heritage largely behind, the music on The Decaying Light is what would happen were bands like Gorguts and Ulcerate to suddenly start incorporating brutal death metal with hints of slam into their sound. Throw some Morbid Angel and Immolation in there too, and you have an idea of the grim wonders that The Decaying Light offers. Obviously, in Disentomb’s case this means that the band’s brutal death metal has increasingly taken on dark dissonant influences, and this album should faithfully appeal to fans of both; here you’ll find a synthesis of ugly brutality and complex, atmospheric technicality.

The crushing oppression and claustrophobic intensity of these songs will no doubt be impenetrable for many, especially when infused with such rampant brutality as it is here. The brutality is necessarily diluted by the dissonance, which is no bad thing, as this results in songs that are greater than what a simple brutal death metal band could probably achieve. This is an album that demands repeated plays and close scrutiny to fully reveal its secrets, and even then it jealously guards what lurks in its dark heart.

Kudos to Disentomb for not only progressing and evolving their sound, but for doing it so well. The Decaying Light is a well-rounded, darkly imposing death metal colossus. In a year of relatively weak death metal releases overall, this stands out.

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