Friday, April 6, 2012

Diseim - Holy Wrath [2012]

Diseim, a fairly new death metal band, were formed in 2007 and, now signed with Abyss Records, are finally releasing their debut full-length, “Holy Wrath”. Their take on death metal isn’t exactly original, but it isn’t one that is often seen nowadays either, so they deserve to be credited for that. It’s comparable to both death/doom acts like Autopsy, as well as to more groove-laden death metal bands. These two styles are churned together and the resulting mutation gives way to lots of death grooves and doom paces, but there’s also some melodic influence thrown in occasionally, making for a varied result. Diseim’s clear ambition for drawing on their old-school roots is quite overt, and while they’re not an outright rip-off of any one band, they struggle putting their influences into good use.

What immediately stands out about Diseim is their incredibly dirty sound, both in the guitars and the vocals and their ability to fuse them into one grisly result. This often makes them sound far more old-school, and that works to their benefit most of the time. The riffs are considerably varied, and fluctuate often from slow to fast or heavy to melodic (usually in regards to songs, because a given song typically remains in the same style until the next). Most of the time they roam around at a doom-paced tempo, offering nothing that hasn’t heard before yet succeeding in coming off as admittedly old-school. A simplistic approach to both their songwriting and the riffs themselves drives them to a slightly stale sound, yet it is also this simplistic approach that makes their music all the better and more distinctive. Doom/death riffs are laced with grooves and melodic tendencies, as well as some eerie bent riffs ("Agony"), all played beneath the coarse rasp of the vocalist. Eventually their music gets relatively boring and repetitive, mostly because a lot of the tempos tend to be slower, but there are actually some memorable riffs thrown in between more mediocre ones.

The drums aren’t anything special in the album, burdened underneath the loud guitars/vocals and left to play simple drum beats that swing the music along. Overall, “Holy Wrath” is arguably quite a mixed bag in terms of genre and style, especially since Diseim can’t be earmarked into any one specific style of death metal. In theory this should be a great thing, and it certainly does give Diseim the advantage over a great many other bands, but the way they pull off all these styles isn’t particularly memorable, unfortunately. It’s quite evident that these guys are still rookies in the scene, and perhaps with a few more years in their catalog they could achieve something more worth the listen, but “Holy Wrath” remains a fairly amateurish debut. I will hand it to them, however, for keeping my attention most of the time, and varying their sound here and there to make it all more interesting and refreshing. Until next time, Diseim.



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