Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dismantle - Satanic Force


You want to know what makes a good album great? It's the little things. Small things like atmosphere, replayability, memorability, technicality, or any number of things. If the band in question is very good at something (for example: how Judas Priest has Rob Halford's voice or Sabbat's unrelenting speed and great lyrics), that particular something will usually stick out and serve as one of the main aspects as to why something is so great. Imagine if Walkyier was never the frontman for Sabbat, without his sharp lyrics and ferocious bark, a large spirit of the band would've been lost.

Now let's look at the flipside, what makes a mediocre album bad? Same thing, it's the little things. Into Eternity's flawed but potentially decent The Scattering of Ashes suffered one of the most horribly overproduced sounds I've ever heard, and Crystal Tears unfortunately plays the "female fronted" gimmick and as such is stuck with an awful frontwoman despite decent music. Californian three piece, Dismantle, is one of those mediocre bands with one hideous flaw that renders the entire album nearly unlistenable. In case the review title didn't give a sufficient enough clue as to what that flaw is, allow me to reiterate. Relentless Warrior needs to be fucking shot. Although such a treatment makes me worry that he'd let out one of his agonizing rape squeals if not shot in the face. Oh my lord, I understand that thrash is supposed to be an unrestrained style of music, and I also understand that the entire point of these random vocal cracks are just to let out the energy that the boys attempt to convey, but please make this guy stop. To fully grasp what I'm saying, let's hearken back to one of the best recordings of all time, Mercyful Fate's Nun's Have No Fun. You know that legendary crescendo of "Satan has taken his toll" at the end of "Corpse Without a Soul"? Remember at the height of the scream where King Diamond's voice cracks for a split second? Well this doofus can crack that squeal on command and is determined to never let you forget that he can do it. Honestly, this wouldn't be as annoying if it was used tastefully, in appropriate places, and happened maybe two or three times on the album. But no, this woman apparently sees a really big spider every forty fucking seconds because it happens constantly. Honestly, I can do a wicked Jack Nicholson impression, but there is no way in hell I'm going to be singing like him on MY album. There aren't enough words in the English language to accurately describe the aural torture that these all to frequent shrieks cause.

It's hard for me to even focus on the music, no thanks to some idiot constantly being spooked by a mouse, but the occasions when the music actually shines through aren't very entertaining. This is by-the-numbers thrash, with the standard Ed Repka album cover, standard demons and sacrifice lyrical babble, standard riffs sprinkled with standard solos. This is thrash so standard and pedestrian that I honestly can't even think of an analogy for it. It's boring, it's pointless, it's a waste of time. Mine and everybody else's. I'm hesitant to claim that this is 100% pointless, because while it is musically deja vu and honestly time better spent listening to Destruction, it's still solid. This "retro thrash" movement is a difficult one to fuck up. There are about 20 total riffs written and every band just changes them slightly to fit their songs, and all you have to do is play these generic riffs really fast while tunelessly shouting something regarding either Satan or war. Of course there are exceptions to this, it seems like it's the general formula that most of these resurgent thrash bands stick to. Merciless Death, Warbringer, Bonded by Blood, Hatchet, Fueled by Fire, almost all of them sound very similar. Some bands do this better than others, but the gap between good ones (Diamond Plate) and the bad ones (Merciless Death, Dismantle) is massive.

Satanic Force is a difficult album. It's difficult to sit through, it's difficult to find original ideas, and it's difficult to understand why people allow crap like this to exist. The vocals are easily some of the most offensive I've ever heard in the genre, the music is solid, but only because it's entirely unoriginal and by-the-books. If you're looking for some passion, look elsewhere. If you're looking for a laugh (and are a bit of a sadomasochist), then you may find something here. Otherwise just ignore this shit.

RATING - 15%

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