(This is Vonlughlio’s review of the latest release by one of his favorite bands, Australia’s Disentomb, which is set for release on July 12th by Unique Leader Records.)
This time around I have the opportunity to review the new release by one of the my favorite BDM bands from Australia, the amazing Disentomb. This project formed back in 2009 and released a demo the same year. Late in 2010 they released their debut album, entitled Sunken Chambers of Nephilim. I discovered the band in 2011, as did many others — that debut took the whole BDM scene by storm, a massive slab of pure raw and filthy BDM with Disgorge influences.
That release quickly took its place among my favorite debuts in the genre. Their musicianship was impressive even though the guys at that time were (I believe) still in their teenage years. Regardless of their age, this is one album that every BDM fan is aware of, and it’s time to recognize it as a classic that will pass the test of time.
After their debut, Disentomb released a promo in 2012, and later signed to New Standard Elite for their 2014 sophomore effort, Misery. Even though it’s not as raw as its predecesor, the album showcased their grownth as musicians. Their hard work paid off, as this chapter opened them to tours throughout the world, and Disentomb soon became better known to people who would not necessarily listen to BDM. I remember this release like it was yesterday; it easily made it into my top albums of 2014.
Time passed and the band continued to do some tours here and there, mostly focusing on their performances and taking their time for the next installment in their discography. I don’t recall when they announced signing to Unique Leader Records, but I’m not going to lie — I was somewhat worried by the news. You might ask, why? Well, given my own tastes I do not enjoy the majority of that label’s roster, though there are exceptions (like everything in life’s rules). I also worried about whether the band would drastically change their sound to appeal to greater masses.
When they released the cover art for their third album (The Decaying Light), the track listing, and the first single, I can safely say that my worries were already slapped away, so much so that when I received the promo I screamed “HOLY FUCK” while in a family meeting (that went well). That night I decided to start from the beginning and immerse myself until the end. My immediate impression was that Disentomb’s progression as musicians was evident.
I’ve now lost count of how many times I have listened to The Decaying Light. It is Disentomb’s most mature, most well-written effort to date, and they seem confident and comfortable in their performances. And the riffs!!!! There’s not a single dull moment as they stay constantly in motion, maintaining a firm grip on the listener’s attention from second to second, and further establishing a signature sound — once you hear them, you know it’s Disentomb.
It is important to say that the production is very organic and balanced, allowing each of the instruments to contribute without cutting into each other. Jake Wilkes (guitars) and Adrian Cappelletti (the new bassist) in particular make a fantastic duo!!! I could watch playthroughs by them forever. The bass performance really is the unsung hero here, enjoyable to listen to in the background and even more enjoyable in its solo moments here and there, which enhance the depth of what is a superb production. Henri Sison, as always, delivers a top-notch drum performance, striking with force and precision, putting on a show that’s showcased thoughtout the whole thing.
Now on to the vocals: I have always enjoyed Jordan James‘ approach and his rhythmic patterns, and the new album is no exception. Yet I’ll also say that as a frontman he has grown the most. It’s evident that he took the time to prepare for this, presenting his most diverse work so far.
The entire presentation is at the same high level, with artwork and lyrics that expand upon the themes of death, apocalypse, and anti-religious defiance with refined taste, providing quite intriguing enhancements to the music that make you think. From the band’s first release straight through to The Decaying Light, you feel it is an extended story they’re telling. Even the covers tell a story:
Sunken Chambers of Nephilim –The death of all, the established control of humanity, and the impending apocalypse
Misery — The apocalypse has taken everything and misery is all that’s left
The Decaying Light — The further aftermath of the apocalypse, and what becomes of the end of the established order
I’ll repeat that for me this is Disentomb’s most mature work, and an album that should make these guys even bigger and better-known than they are now. I sincerely wish them all the best, and hopefully will catch them live when they come to the United States this fall.
Please do give the record a listen as soon as you can. The Decaying Light will be released by Unique Leader on July 12th (my bday).