Revered technical death metal outfit Through The Eyes Of The Dead are back with their first release in seven years. In today’s volatile musical landscape seven years can feel like seventy and the world of death metal has changed exponentially in their absence. So, what can we expect from the East-Coast metallers in 2017? The album’s title, Disomus refers to a fetus with two bodies and only one head, which tells you everything you need know about this record on a thematic level. Songs tell stories such as that of a dark magician, a man buried alive and the Alien film franchise, yes really.
Sonically the band get straight back to the business of jagged riffing and thunderous growls, right from the off with opening track ‘Hate The Living Master’ they make clear their intent to drown out those who declare them late to the party. The tone is then set for the record, which places the emphasis squarely on brutality, each track swelling into a tempest of riffs, breakdowns, Danny Rodriguez’s versatile vocals and Michael Ranne’s crashing drums. The pace rarely lets up as the record blasts towards the finish line, a guest spot from former vocalist Nate Johnson on ‘Teras’ providing the most memorable moment for long term fans.
The only element preventing this record from becoming one of diminishing returns is the versatile guitar work. Although Rodriguez has an impressive range, his growls don’t provide quite enough variety for the ensuing forty minutes. ‘The Binding Nightmare Hex’ demonstrates this perfectly as it halts the audible pounding long enough for a squealing solo, throughout there are just enough of these sonic U-turns to keep the listener from switching off. It may not be wholly original but it’s a sophisticated touch in an album that would otherwise be like getting rolled down a hill inside a steel dustbin.
To those with a tin ear for the heavier side of metal Disomus will makes for an unfulfilling listen, however those that have a history with the band will no doubt be pummelled into submission by its sheer ferocity. After all, why reinvent the wheel when you can just drive it over someone’s face instead?