The Nameless Faceless
posted on 8/2008 By:
Good-but-not-great death metal bands. It feels like they’re everywhere these days. You know the ones; bands that can more than satisfy our confounding need for brutal riffs and blastbeats, and even deliver a great song or two, without making any kind of huge impact in the process. Dead Congregation, Arghoslent, Decrepit Birth - these are some of today’s great death metal bands. Dismal Lapse, putting their first toe in the water with the EP release The Nameless Faceless, is still merely a good one at this stage. With the “at this stage” being the key part.
Dismal Lapse’s style of brutal, occasionally melodic death metal is nothing if not competent. On paper, all the pieces are there for this band to put out some great records in the future. They certainly have the chops required to fulfill death metal’s strict stylistic demands, with well-enunciated death growls, the usual technical drumming, and some wicked solos and leads. Opener “Red Snow, Cold Steel” is very enjoyable in this regard, featuring some serpentine, almost Nile-esque lead passages layered over heavy chugging, perfectly ensnaring the listener’s attention immediately. You never really think "hooks" when talking about brutal death metal, but there it is, and its a damn good one at that. Things stumble a bit on “U-235”, which features a little more fret board masturbating than I would like at the expense of something more discernible, but the band regain their footing on the more riff-based and groovy “Clipping the Wings of Hope” (also containing a killer solo). The chorus on the title track is slightly hokey, but I’m glad to see that these guys are willing to write catchy parts in their songs at the expense of unadulterated, crossed-arms-brutalness. The stop-start riffing barrage of the final song “Before Our Eyes” is a great mix of the band’s more accessible and difficult tendencies, including a surprisingly good clean bass and keyboard break in the middle. Little bursts of creativity like this can do wonders for making young bands stand out from the hordes, so props to Dismal Lapse for taking a risk here and there.
While I don’t see The Nameless Faceless garnering the kind of attention that elevates bands to “must-hear” status, Dismal Lapse have a lot of positives going for them at this stage of their young career (hell, they were only formed earlier this year!). They’ve written some really intense material that isn’t afraid to actually be interesting at times, and the musicianship and production quality of this debut is above par. If these guys continue to pursue this kind of catchy brutal death sound, I could see Dismal Lapse evolve into something comparable to a modern day Prostitute Disfigurement, which is a definite positive. Though the songwriting still has room to improve, overall I enjoyed what Dismal Lapse had to offer here.
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