Originally written by Alex de Moller.
Dismember were never paid to make music. They were paid to make people FIGHT.
So get out your knuckledusters you maggots and get ready for some good, friendly violent fun: Because Dismember have torn into the 21st Century with a shotgun blast and a fistful of chainsaw. Groovy.
Let me start by saying that Where Ironcrosses Grow is first and foremost a Dismember album, and I don’t mean that in the painfully fucking obvious sort of way. After listening to this album back to back with my many-scarred copies of Pieces and Death Metal, I wasn’t immediately sure which album was which. But who honestly gives a fuck when you’re listening to manic buzzsaw-thrashing tainted with doomy grooves and lightning melodic lead breaks. Unless we forget, music that justifies knucklefucking your best mates in the face and boozing on their nasal gore (at your own risk of course).
Changes to the trademark Dismember sound on the latest offering are very subtle… Mostly in the production department – more buzz, less fuzz. The guitars on ‘Ironcrosses’ are clear(er) and less high frequency mayhem exists to play penis games with your ears. What was most shocking as I cranked up the volume to the title track, “Where Ironcrosses Grow” was the fact that I could actually hear Matt Karki as opposed to what was just a growling hum on previous Dismember works. You’re given as little as half a second to breathe between “Where Ironcrosses Grow” and the next track “Forged with Hate” as the sickening crunch of a shotgun blast rings simultaneously with the opening riff. Unlike its predecessor, “Forged with Hate” has quite a bit of melody interlocking with Karki’s vocal onslaught and some nicely placed time changes. A return to heaviness with “Me-God” and then a move to the more melodically inclined “Tragedy of the Faithful” and you’re thinking:
Hang on just a fucking minute. There’s a pattern here.
Sadly there is little in the way of serious diversity on ‘Ironcrosses’. There’s this aggravating ‘intensity rota’ plaguing the whole album:
Heavy and Melodic.
Slow and Heavy.
Slow, Melodic and Heavy with a 2 second sample
I know… lets throw a heavy song in straight after another heavy song – That’ll fool the bastards!
After barely ten listens, I already need to put this one on the shelf for a while.
Though having said that, I’m pleased (in a sort of masochistic way) that Dismember have stuck with their sound all these years in favor of traveling a bit too far down the left hand path like that other band.
Not a bad album at all, but I’m afraid the ‘wider audience’ will have to go fuck themselves… this one’s for the diehards.