Embrace The Dark
01 February 2014
by Rob McAuslan
Ohio’s latest thrashing export Dismemberment have broken out of the ‘demo/short tour/demo’ cycle to bring us a full album. Embrace The Dark bears a lot of similarities with their more famous buddies in Skeletonwitch, but does it do enough to set them on their own path?
The answer is ‘pretty much’. Where their fellow Ohioans are a model of savage economy, Dismemberment recall an earlier era on the same sort of timeline where ultimate precision was less important than delivery, and any wavering tempos or slightly clumsy transitions could be easily excused by exuberance. It’s very appealing, for all its minor flaws.
There’s a fair amount of experimentalism on display here, with longer arrangements and breathing space that allows Dismemberment’s more melodic side to really shine through. Songs like ‘Labyrinth’ and ‘Aura Of Obscurity’ feature extended instrumental bridges and intros, giving the whole thing a more thoughtful, dynamic feel than the initial rawness of sound points towards. Whilst not quite hitting the same degree of psychedelia-inspired lunacy that Tribulation showed it’s possible to delve into last year, there’s a definite willingness to reach further than strict genre boundaries would perhaps attempt to dictate.
If nothing else, it’s packed with charm – straddling the line between black metal, melodic death metal and thrash as it does, it never allows itself to dwell too long in any of them. This could, and occasionally does, lead to them seeming a tad muddled, but the flashes of progressive intent do enough to lift what could otherwise be a fairly rote canter to more intriguing heights and lend Dismemberment a decent slug of personality. Whilst still far from essential listening, Embrace The Dark is a solid enough debut album that lays some excellent groundwork for a followup.
Sounds Like: Slightly rickety blackened thrash with some smart proggy touches
Standout Tracks: Aura Of Obscurity, Born To Consume, Eye Of The Keeper