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Review of the Album "Death Metal" by Swedish Death Metal Band Dismember

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.


What is the Band Dismember?

Genre: 1990s melodic death metal

Upon just seeing the name of this band from my recommendations given by YouTube, the assumption was that the band Dismember was an American metal band. Upon looking up their band name, they are a Swedish melodic death metal band that have roots as far back as 1988. The band disbanded in October 2011 but they reunited in January 2019. Two of its members Fred Estby and Matti Karki played for the band Carnage way back in the day that also had Michael Amott as a member. Listening to the music of these guys makes me wonder why I didn’t discover their music much earlier.

The Musical Style of the Album Death Metal

Their 1997 studio album called Death Metal (yes it is a simple and obvious album title) is their 4th studio album and the style resembles death metal bands of the period such as In Flames and Arch Enemy with harsh vocals which are a mixture of death metal and maybe a bit of hardcore. Coming out in the same year as the album Whoracle, Death Metal provides some fine melodic death metal of the time period and it actually provides nostalgia for a person such as myself that grew up listening to this kind of stuff. Stylistically 1997’s Death Metal is like The Jester Race and Whoracle not just in the style of the riffs and melodies but the drumming style resembles those two albums as well.

2 Cons or Disadvantages about the Album Death Metal

If there is a con to this album called Death Metal it is that the structure is the same kind of melodic death metal without much variation. The other con about this album is that the lyrical themes focus too much on negative topics such as revenge or war which isn’t a good thing in the simplest of terms. Now if there were lyrics in this band’s songs that made the listener really think about hidden meanings in the lyrics or things like that, it is a different story.

How Good is the Album Death Metal?

There is a section of the song “Let the Napalm Rain” which has a riff similarity to the song “The Jester Race” for those of you that can spot that. Dismember and In Flames were pretty much formed at almost the same time period a few years apart. Just like the band Sodom, Sweden’s Dismember have lyrics that focus on wartime and battles as the song “Of Fire” starts out this album with. Is that a typical lyrical theme? For melodic death metal bands lyrics about war are not as common. I would say that Death Metal is one of those albums that someone just getting into melodic death metal should check out. Those of us that are avid listeners of this sub-genre know that there are better albums than this one. It may sound like there are nothing but complaints about this album. Certainly, Fred Estby’s drumming is something to be pleased about and there is at least an effort by these guys to incorporate some melody in their songs such as the opening song will has.

Rating for the Album Death Metal by Sweden’s Dismember: 78 points out 100 for a solid C grade.

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© 2021 Ara Vahanian

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