Disma – Towards the Megalith

Posted on August 21, 2011


Profound Lore


If you’re reading this and you’re in a death metal band set to release an album this year, pack it in. Seriously, don’t bother. Disma have rendered whatever you were writing or recording obsolete. What, was it some ultra-technical torrent of notes? Maybe you all met at Berklee and bonded over a mutual love for Autopsy and Yes and your shit’s real tight. Or maybe you’re one of the dozens of hangers-on to the New Wave of Old School Death Metal trend that’s left high schoolers scouring Zappos for Reebok high tops. You see, where Disma trump your most valiant efforts is that they’ve lived this before. And even if Towards the Megalith didn’t boast unfuckwithable death metal street cred, it would still rule face. It would be easy to brand this as the heir apparent to Onward to Golgotha and call it a day, but it’s so much more than that.

First off, Craig Pillard is all over this shit. If you don’t know who that is, why are you even reading this? Go listen to some overproduced, Sumeriancore tripe. No matter how hard Revolver tries to tag “death” to it, the –core will always lure in the skinny jeans and bangs set. Disma are so much less hip than anyone in that scene, and by that token alone they’re absolutely the coolest death metal band for anyone who listens to real death metal. You sure don’t woo throngs of mascara-caked scene chicks playing downright abysmal hymns like “Purulent Quest.” There and elsewhere, we’re treated to slithering guitar abominations courtesy of Daryl Kahan (of a million death metal bands over the past dozen years) and Bill Venner, another Incantation alumnus (which honestly isn’t that big of a deal considering the band’s reputation as the Wu-Tang Clan of death metal. I’m pretty sure I was in Incantation at some point). Anyway, yeah, the duo pretty much hatefucks your earholes at every turn, whether it be the winding descent into psychosis reflected on “Lost in the Burial Fog”’s numerous droning lead transitions, or the kegger in Hell vibe of opener “Chaos Apparition,” a tune replete with so many variations of twisted Azagthoth and Vigna-isms and searing tremolo blasts it’s hard to know where to start, even at the beginning.

In a recent interview with the excellent Cvlt Nation, Profound Lore bossman Chris Bruni basically laid it all out when asked about NPR’s curious but encouraging embracement of underground metal: “People are actually looking for music of an extreme nature that has artistic merit, substance, powerful aesthetics, and music that actually challenges them, doesn’t underestimate their intelligence and ultimately pushes the limits (and of course I’m not referring to the wanking feeble tech bands that try to jam a million notes into a song, I don’t consider that pushing the limit or challenging).” Game. Set. Match. Death metal can indeed tread the line between knuckle-draggingly primitive and arrogantly proggy; between frayed, mangy locks and immaculate ponytails; between eating shitty microwaved burritos at the corner 7-11 and demanding caprese in your rider. Towards the Megalith demolishes its retro competition by the simple merit of not being retro at all. It’s just how death metal should gurgle, crawl and blast.

— 9 —