Mike McLatchey 28-August-2002 Transcendence into the Peripheral

Australians Disembowelment are perhaps closest in style to Brits Esoteric in that both groups perform a very nonstandard death/doom metal, an approach that might be considered the very avant garde for the style. The riffs are often excruciatingly slow, although, unlike Esoteric, Disembowelment will occasionally pick up the pace with battering drum beats and a sound that reminds me of the technical, yet homogenous nature of the second and third Carcass albums. A voice growls ominously over the inexorably slow, plodding music, mostly unintelligble in typical "cookie monster" style, but occasionally changing to worldless clean chants, an approach that helps to break things up a bit. Like Esoteric, Disembowelment go for a chilly, digital production that gives no room for warmth of any kind. The effects are layered on all of the instruments giving everything a vast, echoey, cavernous sound that keeps all the tones to a depressing malaise. This is not music for a sunny day, it's a doom album that stays to a suffering sort of existentialism, a musical world where the clouds never part and apathy is the norm. Next to Transcendence into the Peripheral, My Dying Bride and Candlemass sound mainstream and ecstatic to be there. Even "Nightside of Eden," with its female vocal interlude doesn't let up on the omnipresent gloom. An interesting album indeed, although one without compromise. If "all is suffering," then surely transcendence must be as well.

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