D.I.S. – Becoming Wrath Review

The acronym D.I.S. is short for “Destroyed In Seconds” – knowing that information makes this band quite a bit easier to research, I’ve found. Without it, a quick Google search of “D.I.S.” brings up stock information on the Disney Corporation, the dictionary definition of “dis” (“verb: to treat with contempt, insult; to criticize”), a multimedia art magazine that claims to distort and dissect and disturb, and the Wikipedia entry of the City of Dis, which in Dante’s Divine Comedy comprises the most punishing part of Hell. You’ll notice that none of that is particularly useful…

And yet, strangely, aside from the Disney Corporation (nothing family friendly here!), each of those touches upon some aspect of this D.I.S. Featuring former members of Phobia, Mange, and Eat The Living, D.I.S. circa 2012 plays the same type of super-charged Swedish-sounding d-beat as a Wolfbrigade or a Skitsystem – it’s certainly contemptuous, critical, distorted, and punishing. What is isn’t, however, is particularly unique, a criticism made all the more disappointing by the fact that Becoming Wrath is regrettably not at all as interesting as the D.I.S. disc that preceded it, which crossed crossover with Wrath’s Wolfbrigade worship.

That last disc (2010’s Critical Failure) garnered rightful praise from our own Konrad Kantor for its mix of classic D.R.I.-tinted hardcore and a thicker, more modern attack. In the two years since, D.I.S. lost guitarist Leon del Muerte (ex-Impaled / Phobia / Intronaut / Exhumed, and currently of Murder Construct), replaced by Alex Vahle. More noticeably, the band swapped singers, with Jon Tomala stepping in for the departed Mike Fisher (formerly of No Warning). Fisher’s hardcore shout rooted the earlier incarnation of D.I.S. most firmly in that thrashcore / crossover style, whereas Tomala’s roar is much more in line with the d-beat approach.

Still, D.I.S. rages, and that’s a plus – the band has fury in spades, and the loss of two key members and a shift in focus toward only one half of their prior formula didn’t render them toothless. The production is stouter; the guitar tones thick and meaty, and these riffs rip in the right measure, dropping into heavier breakdown segments with ease. Tracks like the opening title track with its dissonant intro riff and the absolutely blistering “No Guillotine Like The Truth” are undeniable bruisers, and moments of a near-grindcore blasting intensity infiltrate “Scarabs Nest.” But even as good as those moments are, they all fall within the confines of the d-beat paradigm that’s been beaten half to death by a dozen better (or at least, bigger) bands in the last few years.

Not bad, and yet not as good as before, Wrath rages respectably, but still comes up a few steps short of expectation. I have no complaints with straight-ahead d-beat, but I can’t help feeling disappointed because I had higher hopes, wanted another D.R.I.-meets-Martyrdod blast, and I didn’t quite get it, the latter eclipsing the former in the band’s sound. In that earlier mix, D.I.S. stood a step apart from the d-beat standard, but now, musically as they are in the search engines, D.I.S. is in danger of being lost in the crowd.

Posted by Andrew Edmunds

Last Rites Co-Owner; Senior Editor; born in the cemetery, under the sign of the MOOOOOOON...

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