Review by Ben for diSEMBOWELMENT - Transcendence Into the Peripheral (1993)
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!