The initial guitar harmony is quite enticing, and well tailored to mislead that unsuspecting casual listener. As you can hear, the musical terrain flips in a couple of minutes. Lyrics, quite aptly scream — “Innocent soul dismembered…Enter the dark regions. And suffer a thousand deaths”. It’s good old Swedish brand of hardcore/punk aggression, but reconciled with guitar melody.

Dismember is an apt introduction to the early 90s Stockholm scene. Borrowing elements from their American and English contemporaries, these Swedes distilled their own characteristic flow and melody. Here, we can clearly discern that multinational lineage of Venom, Celtic Frost, Possessed, and Napalm Death.

For the uninitiated, the elegantly down-tuned melodic leads make Dismember relatively more palatable. The sheer sonic density of Entombed or Grave could be a tad intimidating. In some ways, Dismember also exhibits tendencies mostly associated with Gothenburg death, especially that of ‘At The Gates’. A closer examination reveals even more musical parallels, especially with the legendary English death metallers — ‘Bolt Thrower’.

But not just from the neighboring avenues, fascinating how back in the 80s, influences from places as far as Tampa, Florida or the Bay Area traveled back to Stockholm. Informal networks and underground tape trading channels simply emerged. Even without the World Wide Web, Altars of Madness wrecked a sonic carnage within the European scene. Simply stated, it was artistic entrepreneurship which drove the most extreme sounds on the planet. To channel a wise Scottish philosopher – death metal evolution is yet another illustration “of human action, but not the execution of any human design”.

Image attribution:
By Mattias Hedström (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s