Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 10/1/2004
The Dark Side Of Mankind
posted on 4/2006 By:
Seriously, how the fuck is this band unsigned? Blending the ferocity and vitriol of grind along with the pummeling fury of brutal tech death, France’s Spiritual Dissection have set out with the personal credo of “blast/shred or die” and have absolutely slaughtered the competition with an amazingly compelling independent release of well constructed mayhem in the form of their first full length and third release, The Dark Side of Mankind.
Though Spiritual Dissection plays a niche of sorts in the traditional American interpretation of the genre, they have actually managed to sidestep many of the issues that mar the majority of the style. Interestingly enough, though most deathgrind tends to be of two varieties, either relying on slamming groove or non stop brutality like Brodequin, these guys move between both paradigms flawlessly, even managing to capitilize on some areas of intrinsic ingenuity with a style that pushes the envelope of conventional deathgrind with an eclectic blend of extremity. Standing out on their own and separating themselves from a scene that is by far over saturated by lack of distinctive differences between bands is no small task, though most tech death of this caliber winds up sounding incomprehensible and cluttered, Spiritual Dissection pull back for sections of exceptional contrast and variety from time to time without letting up on their ferocious onslaught or the high levels of intensity.
While the foundational death metal overtones of Spiritual Dissection’s rhythms are more in the vein of Cryptopsy especially on “Brutal Awakening”, they still manage to deliver high velocity moments interlaced with chaotic technicality not to dissimilar from the hyperblast of bands like the dissonance of Hate Eternal or Origin. Their absolutely wicked shredding and acrobatic sweeps put bands like Beneath the Massacre to shame by laying down a high level of technical shredding in the vein of Necrophagist displayed expertly on “Impunity”. Those moments of unabashed and irreproachable technicality are the perfect counterpoint to the dissonant lead play, the rhythmic distortions, and the chunky slow downs of “Feels like Spew Forth”
But what completely surprised me was the fact that Spiritual Dissection still manage to incorporate some rather uncharacteristic instances of harmonic leads more akin to the melodic death genre displayed on “Mortuary Soul” which also features an excellent bass solo accompanied by more outstanding soloing or the epic, grandiose Vital Remains-esque leads on the closing of “Visceral Extortion Artwork”
Far beyond being able to be simplistically categorized into death metal, most of the compositions are extremely layered and exhibit multifarious influences with the major contributing factor to their sound their schizophrenic and spastic blend of grindcore ala Nasum and Rotten Sound, especially moments like those on “Sexual Blasphemy Purification” along with the insipid gore soaked splattergrind of “We Deserve Extermination”. Whereas most death grind bands capitalize on the brutality of death metal with the speed of grind, Spiritual Dissection utilizes the rancor of grind as an integral part of their sound that is completely inseparable for their identity.
To top it all off, from what I understand, The Dark Side of Mankind was self produced which speaks volumes for this bands ability to hold their own without anyone’s help. Granted the production is weak in some areas, but it’s clear as all fucking get out (I can actually hear and appreciate the bass lines for once). The album lacks a lot of the punch and thickness I would have liked in the guitars and drums for this genre because of scooping the lower frequencies. The drums sound is tight, but ultimately, like the visceral and oftentimes dynamic vocals, a bit thin and unable to carry across the real gravity of their sound. With a better production backed by a label there’s absolutely no telling how devastating this would have come across with as crushing as it already is.
This actually came out in October 2004 so by now they’re already in the process of bringing us their second full length, Mors Ultima Ratio, which I'm looking extremely forward to. If it takes me stalking outside of record labels hoisting a stereo over my head blaring forth The Dark Side of Mankind like an idiotic version of John Cusack in Say Anything to help this band get signed, then so be it. Albeit this style is never going to sit well with everyone there’s undoubtedly going to be a large portion of people who don’t see eye to eye with me but those who appreciate the style will find that this is an absolute must have from a grossly under appreciated powerhouse.
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