Last year I had the pleasure to review this band's debut EP "The Condemned" and I was impressed to say the least. Dismemberment is now back with a new five track EP entitled "Denied Salvation" and it's pretty clear that the band has changed up their sound a bit. One of the parts that I most enjoyed about "The Condemned" was that it wasn't another boring retro-thrash release, but it brought an abrasive black/thrash assault that wasn't a very common sound in America, but more akin to Norway or Australia. Now the band has taken that black metal part of their sound and switched from the early black metal masters like Bathory and Sarcofago to a darker sound, one that was pioneered by the Norwegian bands like Mayhem or Immortal. While I prefer the raw and aggressive black/thrash over the blackened thrash sound, Dismemberment did not fail to deliver some quality music here and it could well put them in the same conversation as bands like Ketzer and Skeletonwitch.
Once the first song "Last Rites" starts, the listener immediately can hear a resemblance to a band like Mayhem. The heavy chords along with the sinister melody and chilling basslines set up a haunting kind of atmosphere that reminds one of the legendary "Freezing Moon." After the intro clears, some more thrashy riffs come in as well as Luke Shively's vocals that sound a lot like Abbath of Immortal. A lot of the riffs on "Denied Salvation" tend to follow the same base sound of the ones found on "Last Rites." There's a nice mix of thrashier riffs to get your headbanging, some more technical riffs (though they're not overly technical like a boring prog band), and some tremolo sections used mainly to create a dark aura very much like their Norwegian influences.
Once again, I must reiterate the strong resemblance between Dismemberment and Skeletonwitch. The riff that starts the track "Gateways to the Past" sounds incredibly like one that could be heard by Skeletonwitch, though not in a way that seems like they're plagiarizing the band or in a way that they're just a clone of the band, but in the same way that Dismemberment emulates their other influences making the comparison to Skeletonwitch by many others inevitable. The five tracks on "Denied Salvation" are all worth your time and there aren't many flaws throughout, just plenty of headbanging moments, though enough variety to admire the more melodic and dark moments of the EP, as well. If you're a fan of any of the other bands that were mentioned above, then do yourself a favor and get your hands on this EP when it comes out.
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"Reap What You Sow"
"System to Rise"
4.3/5 or 86%.