Sound — 9
Death Metal is the fourth effort from the Swedish death metal band, Dismember. They have been around for more than twenty years, and are still making solid albums. Death Metal was released in 1997 and they somehow got away with releasing the album with the same name as the Possessed demo. The Dismember sound may have been described a lot of times, but for those new to the band their sound combines huge guitar and bass tones with almost tiny sounding drums. Matti Karki's vocals are also huge sounding and could be described as a roar mixed with screams. Their sound is raw and aggressive and is no exception in this album. The opener, Of Fire, is fast and quite thrashy. About halfway through the song they slow things down with a pounding, heavy riff that makes you wanna bang your head. There are many small, melodic guitar solos throughout the song. The vocals are varied in this song because in the chorus he sings in a very raspy voice and he actually hits notes. Misanthropic, When Hatred Killed the Light, and Ceremonial Comedy all contain furious riffs and some fast drumming. The more melodic songs like Of Fire and Silent Of The Watchers, in my opinion are the most interesting ones. Mistweaver and Stillborn Ways are Dismember's attempts at slower songs. The consistency of the drums is just as noticeable as the guitar, as there are differing tempos and solid beats. One thing I noticed about the riffs is that while being heavy and aggresive, they are still melodic. This is quite clear in Live For The Fear Of Pain. Towards the end of Silent of the Watchers, it features some great harmony lead work, displaying the band's excellent musicianship. It has become one of my favourites on the album because of that part and the catchy chorus. The album does have some flaws though. Songs can sound a little repetitive after a while, due to the long tracklist.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are mainly about the horrors of the war and are nothing innovating or special. Screams of pain echoes through the night as bullets find their targets, mercilessly ripping through your flesh spraying intestines and bone all around. This is an example from Of Fire. As you can see, the main thing is that they suit the music well. Matti Karki's vocals are huge sounding and could be described as a roar mixed with screams.
Overall Impression — 8
Death Metal is probably one of the best Dismember releases and it shouldn't disappoint fans of the band. Being released in 1997, it wasn't anything new though. They stuck with their trademark sound and did what worked for them. It is a very consistent record and isn't too repetitive. I recommend this album for anyone into death metal. More specifically, if you are into Swedish death metal then I highly recommend it.