DISEMBODIMENT – Mutated Chaos (2021)REVIEW

Comprised of musicians who’ve generally been fixtures in the southern Quebec-area death metal circles of the last two decades, it’d be easy to pick through the collective resumes of Sherbrooke based ‘new old school’ death metal quartet Disembodiment and see folks who’ve more or less gone where the wind blows in terms of early 2000’s brutal death (Nilblorts), late 2000’s deathcore (They Were Us), unsteadily focused 2010’s HM-2 grinder ‘old school’ punkish death metal (Oath Div. 666) and now leading directly into a sewer tuned, barbaric form of hardcore-thugged death that is on trend at present. That isn’t to say that observation is correct but that the folks involved in various trenches towards the present have always been willing to crack into “current” ideas rather than sticking out one project forever. There is always more to any band’s story, especially with several in tow and a new one formed by all of the same members of the last but, in the case of Disembodiment it seems they’re really just rebranding and rethinking their previous incarnation. Having long aimed for a sort of Disma-esque ideal an already existing sense of doomed and gutturally chunking movement translates fairly naturally to the somewhat simple hardcore-shoved arrangements of ‘Mutated Chaos‘.

In terms of an honest as possible value judgement it would be entirely fair to see this EP as average and just another another exercise in combining old school death metal demo-level aesthetics with very simple downtuned and groove focused death metal riffs, which may or may not contain late 90’s hardcore influences. It is also fair to suggest that my own saturation with this style of projects is probably different from the average consumer, who fills dead air with anything remotely death metal as a form of personalized fashion. Homogeny and uniformity does not represent the true spirit of death metal and in this sense the actual sound design, lyrics and most of the riffs on Disembodiment‘s debut EP are very plain but entirely presentable, inoffensive work. I’ve some equitant praise for the death/doom side of the equation, and what I think they’d best cultivate to hone in on strength rather than conformity. “Below the Mind of Morbidity” is the logical feature here, a slow-crawling exposition that absolutely grinds as we reach the ~0:49 second mark a la the best caverncore, rolling into a hardcorish transition and blasting out of it. This composition as a whole is probably the minimum level of detail that Disembodiment should strive for in the future in pulling every aspect of their current gig, from d-beaten kicks to horrifying cavern-storming riff gnarls, all of it allowing plenty of room to showcase the vocalist’s well-controlled bellowing and move away from the “Who disturbs my slumber?” Cave of Wonders hoark that so many bands lead with today. Opener “Ceaseless Discharge” likewise mixes things up with additional vocal layers and similarly strong mid-to-slow paced doom riffs interspersed, yet it ends as several of the pieces do here without consideration for an endpoint and sounding slightly unfinished as a result.

For this sound and the intended style I’d say Disembodiment have improved beyond their previous incarnation for the sake of simplifying their gig and providing cleanly presented aesthetic messaging. Half of these fifteen or so minutes represents a pretty strong Incantation-esque dirge and the other half feels as if it were intentionally ‘dumbed down’ for a fun-sized target audience. I’ve no issue with this, at all, but the riffs just aren’t there with majorly inventive ideas or personal style to back the (admittedly brief) experience up otherwise; ‘Mutated Chaos’ ultimately manages to stand tall for the sake of its obviate professionalism, strong performances and art design otherwise. An easily digested listen and a decent introduction to the band’s intentions. A moderately high recommendation.

Moderately high recommendation. (69/100)

Rating: 6.5 out of 10.
TITLE:Mutated Chaos
LABEL(S):Everlasting Spew Records,
Caligari Records
RELEASE DATE:May 6th, 2021
BUY & LISTEN:Bandcamp [All Formats]
GENRE(S):Death Metal

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