Friday, September 27, 2013

Dismantle - Journey Through The Dark

Hot off the release of their second full-length album, Californian thrashers Dismantle are returning with a new EP in 2013. “Journey Through The Dark” boasts a 24-minute experience in unique songwriting with provides some originality to a fairly stagnant subgenre. Most importantly, however, it also delivers riffs with serious thrashing force. The opening track “Trapped In Eternal Warfare” is the best example. It begins with a slower passage filled with muted notes, but it ends up exploding a couple of times with faster catchy riffs. Several of these riffs bring back memories of Chuck Schuldiner’s style of riffing: tremolo pick some root notes and highlight other rhythmically appropriate notes. This makes these riffs instantly more memorable, as they make a clear effort to catch your attention, rather than existing just to make you headbang (though they will certainly do that as well). This song is a great example of what made thrash great in the 80’s; there is no consideration for song length, tempo, production, or anything else. While I love modern thrash almost to a fault, the scene is mostly filled with bands that conform to rehashing “Bonded by Blood” or “Pleasure to Kill”. Dismantle show that there are more moods thrash can capture than simple brutality. 

Excepting the short interlude “Days of Future Past”, the other tracks likewise follow a similar attention to songwriting. “Snowdust” opens with some darker leads that eventually morph into more Death-worshipping riffs. As the song progresses, Dismantle shows that they’re not afraid to abandon the lower three strings of their guitars and move into even more melodic moments. Perhaps the only moment of unoriginality is the intro to “Path to Revelations”, which shows homage to Diamond Head’s “Am I Evil?”. Songwriting aside, the band themselves are fairly interesting. The singer has a fantastic thrash voice; he doesn’t yell or growl, he just sort of apathetically sings over top of the riffs (this sounds like a negative thing, but it’s not; it really shows the character in his voice). He is certainly the highlight of the EP for me. The other musicians show up as well, however. The bass pops out quite often, and, like the drums, has plenty of fills that are interesting. Beyond the Death-styled riffs, the guitars offer killer solos and melodic flares. The production brings all of these elements together in an old-school fashion. It isn’t excessively loud, the drums don’t overpower everything else, and “Journey Through The Dark” genuinely sounds like it could be from the late 80’s.  Ultimately, this EP was a very satisfying release, and will be of interest to anybody who enjoyed those thrash bands that were always just a little bit different.

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"Trapped In Eternal Warfare"
"Path To Revelations"

Final Rating
4.25/5 or 85%. 

Written by Scott