Towards the Megalith is an extremely appropriate title considering the sheer monolithic heft that Disma have presented with this death/doom debut, with the music invoking images of vast caverns of pitch black and gigantic pondering mechanical structures. This sort of cavernous death/doom style appeared to be the other route for revival death metal bands to take that wasn’t Entombed worship, and for the most part Disma seem to have avoided pigeonholing themselves into a mere revival band with this 8 song debut. This is because Disma take the vast cavernous crypt aspect of old school death metal and deepen it to the point where the album feels like it has physical weight, it’s just that bloody heavy.
The guitars rattle out low-end cavernous, and somewhat fuzzy riffs that pass between slow, ponderous and drawn out chords and faster more higher end (but still rather low-end in general terms) black/death riffs, while the bass churns out ponderous ambient bass sounds. The drums pound out slow beats, relying heavily on minimal drumming patterns to invoke monolithic imagery, and the vocals are perfectly suited for this sort of music; they’re deep, drawn out and surprisingly intelligible meaning that the lyrics are audible to the extent that they enhance the weight of the album. A great example of this is early in the track Chasm Of Oceanus in which the vocalist spews out the line ‘an ocean of infernal depths’, there’s just something spine-tingling about being to hear the gutturals with lyrics invoking such appropriate imagery.
The production quality on this album is again perfectly suited for the style, giving the album the right cacophony of sounds without making it sound like a pile of noise, which adds major emphasis on the weight and vastness of the album. There’s no over production sheen to be spotted too, which is fucking tops, because music like this needs as little ‘high production’ nonsense as possible to retain the perfect atmosphere.
All the songs are well written to boot, relying heavily on building an atmosphere that conjures images of vast depths and weighty monolithic buildings, which is achieved effectively through the aforementioned slow, pondering riffage. The songs here do not feature much distinct deviation, in so much that they all feature a combination of pondering slow, low end sections and slightly faster more mid/low end sections, both of which coalesce in this atmosphere I keep mentioning. While the songs don’t have major distinctions, they don’t sound as if Disma is just recreating the one song over and over, which gives this album a long shelf life when combined with the weight of the album. The song lengths also sit perfectly well for this style of music; they’re long enough (4 and a half minutes to 7 minutes ) to create the right atmosphere without dragging on and becoming banal as well as ponderous.
A must for anyone interested in new projects recreating and adding their own mark on the cavernous osdm of the early 90’s, this shit is killer.