12 December 2017

Deathmarch – Dismember

Although Dutch death metal newcomers Deathmarch are fresh on the scene (having formed a little over a year ago), their members have been flitting around in extreme metal circles for a while now. Their collective experience culminated in a nameless demo issued early on in the year, with the group choosing to bookend 2017 with another release in the form of an EP dubbed Dismember.

The five track EP compiles three tracks that had previously been recorded for their debut demo with two new songs. From the time “Gastorture”‘s abrasive riffs kick in, it’s clear Deathmarch subscribe to the looser, rawer school of death metal thought. There’s an undeniably rocky feel to some of their material, with Quint Meerbeek’s guitar work propelled by the largely straightforward beats of Olle Oele. Leads and solos are at a premium, with Meerbeek instead allowing his riffs to do the heavy lifting; Walter van Kalsbeek’s bass, whilst a bit too buried in the mix, anchors the grimy excursions the Dutchmen put forth. The unbridled fury of Dirk Willems’ vocals give the whole thing an extra layer of filth, alternating between deeper gutturals and higher pitched rasps to good effect. His voice can sound tired and dry at times, and his grunts can lack depth and power, particularly when pushed forward in the mix.

The two opening cuts (the aforementioned “Gastorture” and “Bayonet Frenzy”) have a punky vibe as they charge ahead at full steam. The former eventually settles into a mid tempo mindset, with an occasional well implemented burst of speed. It’s an unremarkable song, but some of the riffs do capture the sort of twisted groove you’d find in classics from Entombed, Grave and the like. “Bayonet Frenzy” alters the equilibrium in favour of speed, but still manages to lock into a more measured, crushing interlude. “Warmachine”‘s searing, tremolo picked riff signals a shift in a more stereotypical death metal sound, but again Oele’s crunching, rhythmic pulse sees it partially stray into headbanging, rock ‘n’ roll territory.

The (almost) eponymous track creeps forward with a monolithic maelstrom of lurching chords and a seismic, see-sawing guitar chug; an admirable effort that just comes up a little short of greatness. “Autopsy with a Chainsaw” ends things with a brief blast of forgettable, grind like nonsense, and in all honesty, you wouldn’t be missing anything if you ended your listening session before the song began.

Dismember is unlikely to make any sort of dent in the extreme metal scene, but I doubt anyone really expected that with a band in its infancy. There’s a few signs here and there that the band could go on to great things, but there’s equally as many moments that leave something to be desired. A respectable first outing, with potential for better things to come.

Rating:

Highlights: “Warmachine”, “Death Marches On”

Find Deathmarch online:

Facebook

Dismember is available worldwide on December 15th via Black Lion Records, and can be purchased here.