diSEMBOWELMENT - Transcendence Into the Peripheral (1993)Release ID: 908

diSEMBOWELMENT - Transcendence Into the Peripheral (1993) Cover
Ben Ben / January 14, 2020 / Comments 0 / 3

An album that moves me immensely, diSEMBOWELMENT is an experience unlike any other!

I've always been proud of my country. Australia is a fine place to live and considering our population size, we hold our own in the sporting arena. We've produced many famous actors that have made it big in Hollywood ranging from Cate Blanchett and Nicole Kidman to Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman. But one area we are most definitely lacking in is the realm of metal music. The metal scene in Australia is appalling when compared to the US, the UK, and pretty much anywhere in Europe or Scandinavia. Of course, there is the occasional diamond in the rough, such as Destroyer 666, Mournful Congregation, The Amenta and Alchemist (I wonder how many of you reading this, own anything by the above bands?!) Anyway, the point is that there is only one metal band that makes me extremely proud to be Australian and that band is diSEMBOWELMENT. Transcendence Into the Peripheral is diSEMBOWELMENT's one and only full length release, but it's the only one they ever needed to create. No other band has ever managed to replicate what they produced here and since they never even tried themselves, it will always remain a unique and treasured piece of work.

This is death doom metal of the highest order! But I'm not talking about gothic, romantic death doom such as My Dying Bride would produce. I'm talking funeral doom levels of despondency and minimalism combined with full throttle blast beats and perfectly placed double bass kicking. Out of all the bands labelled death doom, there is none more appropriate than this one as both death metal and funeral doom are combined into an exquisitely dark hybrid of cold, sorrowful, desolation. It's hard for me to explain how much this music moves me. It just about brings me to tears at times through pure emotional connection and I simply don't want the album to end. It's the kind of album that I want to show friends and family so that they too may experience the wonders of diSEMBOWELMENT, even though there's not a chance in the world that a single one of them would find anything that they remotely enjoy. After all, the drumming is at times so minimal, you're not sure when the next beat is going to arrive. Then at other times it comes at you in a barrage of aggression and brutality. The vocals are sickeningly low and guttural at times and then tortured and angry at others.

The riffs are low tuned and repetitive with a production that almost leaves them behind while still making your speakers shake. Even the gorgeous (how did they find that guitar sound!?) melodies that counteract all the darkness beneath seem to have an almost alien presence of their own that fills the listener with a sort of unease. There are not all that many people on this planet (and I'm not trying to be elitist here) that can enjoy this type of music. But those that can are in for a journey unlike any other. Every track is amazing so it's difficult to pick out highlights, but I don't think any move me more than Your Prophetic Throne of Ivory, The Spirit of the Tall Trees and Cerulean Transience of All My Imagined Shores. I might sound like some sort of marketing guy for the band (unlikely since they disbanded 15 years ago) or even an overly patriotic individual looking for something to claim, but honestly, this is one of the very best albums in my extensive collection of metal and I damn well want to tell the world about it. If you can cope with the more depressive sounding side of extreme metal, then do yourself a favour. You need to experience this!

ZeroSymbolic7188 ZeroSymbolic7188 / June 01, 2024 / Comments 0 / 0

What this album amounts to is doom-grind. 

You're going to get big monolithic funeral doom riffs, growled mournful vocals, and then you're going to get a blast beat section every once in a while. 

I'm scoring it right down the middle, because of it's novelty and it's influence. I can't say that I've heard an album that sounds quite like this one before, so it can scratch a specific itch. It's personally not for me, but I can understand why it would be well regarded especially in 1993. 

Bottom line: Hear this once for sure. Appreciate it. Then decide if you need repeated listenings. I don't, but I'm glad I heard it once.

Rexorcist Rexorcist / May 11, 2024 / Comments 0 / 0

Doom metal is practically a genre transitioning the act of digging deeper graves into sound, and the deeper you dig, the heavier you are.  Disembowelment understood this, and it was clear the moment their guitars growled for the first time.  While The Tree of Life and Death, the opener, starts off as a death metal song, its slowly draws you even deeper into dramatic slower pacing and growling guitars until you're not only covered in dirt, but you've sunk into it like an abyss, scared and turning your head as much as you can to avoid the worms you can't see.

My concerns regarding the risk of monotony within hour-long doom albums was at least temporarily countered with the gothic doom sounf of Your Prophetic Throne of Ivory.  It brought a completely new hypnosis to the album, vaguely reminiscing My Dying Bride while using its cleaner production in tandem with black metal riffs during the midsection, and incorporating slow masculine chanting to set a blueprint for what would become funeral doom.  So without these guys, there might've been no Esoteric or Evoken.  While the first track was beautiful, the second was more creative.

Another surprise overtook me as the noisiest shit you'll ever hear capitalizes on the black-death riffs of Prophetic Throne and begins the third track: Excoriate.  There's no rhythm of any kind at first, so while the atmosphere was incredible, I can't say I'm thoroughly impressed with that decision.  But then the instrumentation gets slower, deeper, more artistic and just as horrific as the opener.  It feels to me that this was an early influence for one of my favorite black metal bands: Cabinet.  The cleaner gothic guitars return for a much scarier composition than the hypnotic elements shown in Prophetic Throne.  In fact, the industrial and quirky methods used to bring out the atmosphere are ringing heavily of the album Children of God by Swans. It's a shame this song started out with such a rhythmless beginning, otherwise this would be a perfect song.  It could be said that the beginning was part of the experimental nature, but I feel like it could've still been performed more artistically.  And lo and behold, this is how the song ends as well, which is slightly disappointing despite being extraordinarily heavy.

Nightside of Eden is a relatively short one, and I noticed that when looking at the tracklist.  My first thought was: starts acoustic and probably stays that way.  I was right, but this doesn't mean it wasn't weird.  The beautiful whispers of a female and a strange ghostly instrumentation give it a mythical feel that takes me deep into a golden sunlit forest where a magic well with a statue of Aphrodite awaits.  That is literally what I pictured, dark green leaves, birds and everything.

Our longest song, A Burial at Ornans, starts out how it should, superslow, gruesome in its haunting buildup, slow and tribal in its percussion, etc.  While it's a great sound, it gets to be a bit much for me overtime, which means the band went past their limitations before taking a complete 180 into blackened death territory, which is a fine change but isn't a perfect situation.  In fact, it's a little jarring.  Great sound aside, there are many more creative 10+ minute slow-metal songs out there.

The Spirits of the Tall Hills starts out by using the clean gothic guitars in tandem with blast beats to create a faster and almost blackened sound that stands out from the other songs.  Eventually, the percussions and feedback go right into the black area while the guitars stay the same, creating a strange but soothing post-metal vibe.  There is enough mutation throughout the song to allow it to recycle elements via new combinations of the group's compositions.  Eventually, the percussion takes a big backstep, allowing the gothic guitars to go into surreal but slow psychedelia before diving right back into the speed for one final epic burst.

The final track is Cerulean Transience Of All My Imagined Shores, and it's more deep and mystical throughout its run.  After the harp intro, we once again see familiar elements recycled to create a different kind of experience.  The middle section feels a bit quiet and tame, but it only gets a little louder in the end, which means the album doesn't really end on the big bang it needs.

Glad I finally got through this one.  It certainly did set up several new standards for doom metal, even if it needed to flesh out a couple of things.  Totally worth the hour.

SilentScream213 SilentScream213 / February 12, 2022 / Comments 0 / 0

A very difficult album for me to rate, as Death Doom is perhaps my absolute favorite genre, and Disembowelment’s first and only album is considered by the some the greatest Death Doom album of all time. It was certainly the first album to have hints of Funeral Doom and would end up becoming influential in that scene, and has a ton of straight Death Metal compared to most Death Doom.

The cooler parts of this album are definitely the way it uses clean, reverbed guitar notes to create melodic atmosphere, but this is only done occasionally. The variety in drumming is also very nice, with everything from Funeral Doom plodding to full Death Metal blastbeats. So, wherein lies the problem for me?

Death Doom was still very primitive in the early 90’s, and Transcendence into the Peripheral is no different. It is extremely basic both in style and execution. The riffs, if you can call them that, are very monotone and minimalistic. That’s not uncommon for Doom, but the way minimalistic riffing works is by creating and relying on strong atmosphere to carry the song. Disembowelment completely falls flat in this regard.

Outside of a few moments with cool backing vocals and reverby clean instruments, there is really no mood created at all, and therein the atmosphere is empty and boring. The songs have no emotion, even the lyrics are spiritual and abstract ramblings that carry no weight. They talk about death and darkness sometimes, but it’s in a Death Metal ad lib sense, none of the beautiful, moving poetry that is so prevalent in the Doom genre. The vocals are another totally monotone aspect of the release, really providing nothing but some extra bass as they’re totally indecipherable without a lyric sheet, with very little variety or expression.

Disembowelment is oppressive, if anything. The music is heavy as hell, challenging, and I will say, unique for its time. In addition, it was influential. But to call this the greatest Death Doom album to me is incredibly sad, because the genre grew and expanded so much throughout the years. Where this album is lethargic and devoid of emotion, Death Doom later churned out much of the most passionate and moving music I have ever heard. Where this has little melody or atmosphere, later bands made those qualities a staple in extreme Doom music and use them to great success. Disembowelment represents the genre before it found it’ identity, and evidently, before it became something I love.

UnhinderedbyTalent UnhinderedbyTalent / January 03, 2021 / Comments 0 / 0

Album number 1254 on my list of records I really need to spend more time with is the only full-length from diSEMBOWELMENT.  It is not that I have struggled to like the album more that I have never felt like I have been able to give it sufficient attention to warrant writing a review.  It has been clear from day one that this is a great album but what has always been equally clear is that no half-measures are permitted when trying to appreciate that greatness and acknowledge it in a review.  This is not the type of album you get to put on in the background whilst doing anything else, it is a record which dictates that you spend quality time with it.  Spending time to focus on it's ethereal, dissonant and destructive energies is after all time well spent.

Normally when I write reviews about albums I like I bang on for a couple of paragraphs and then around paragraph three or four I go "but..." as I point out the one thing about the record that keeps it a half star away from a nice whole number of stars rating.  Well, new year, new me and I will get off my chest now that with Transcendence into the Peripheral my only gripe is the production job which on a couple of occasions I find to be a bit lacking and nearing amateurish.  That having been said though for the most part I think the production is perfectly fitting for the sound that comes across from the band, just here and there it slips into being too thin on the guitars or too murky on the drums and I just look at the speakers and "tut" loudly like some grumpy parent listening to the radio with his kids.

Gripe aside, this record is a mixed bag of styles and ideas that all come together superbly without clashing or jarring against each other.  For an album so very deeply rooted in death/doom I find it has very black metal approach to the vocals at times and amongst some of the less heavier passages.  For each drudgerously (made up word) slow section that feels like a boulder on your chest there's also a scathing edge to both the vocals and guitars when the weight is lifted intermittently from your breastplate.  Likewise the atmospheres that get created are superb doomy monoliths that drift like ghost ships on the ocean before bashing into coastal towns and reaping havoc with their undead crew. This balance is effortlessly delivered in that no track ever feels like it has veered off completely and instead you get a real sense of exploration of the band's abilities and influences.

I feel this album often gets mentioned more because it was the only album release by the band and there always appears to be a sense of lost potential.  I find this argument has some validity as I truly would love to see what these guys could have delivered next but I do believe that this album is a stunning legacy and one that makes your record collection better just by being there on the shelf.


Release info

Release Site Rating

Ratings: 17 | Reviews: 5


Release Clan Rating

Ratings: 12 | Reviews: 4


Cover Site Rating

Ratings: 7


Cover Clan Rating

Ratings: 7

Transcendence Into the Peripheral
The Fallen
Doom Metal

Death Doom Metal

Voted For: 1 | Against: 0

#9 in Ben Top 20 Releases

diSEMBOWELMENT chronology

Dusk (1992)
Transcendence Into the Peripheral (1993)