Internal Devastation Review
Internal Devastation is one of my favorite death metal albums of recent years, alongside the Hail of Bullets album On Divine Winds and Grave Damnation by Necros Christos. If I wanted to play somebody an album that would show the strengths of the often-derided subgenre of slamming death metal, Dysentery’s Internal Devastation is a shining example of the form. Although a band like Cephalotripsy adheres more strongly to the tenets of gurgling slowchug, and I applaud their narrow-minded approach, their full length has riffs that are so rhythmically uninteresting, it’s hard to remember the songs, and I am not yet a full believer. (Their newer 2011 material shows some real promise in the way of syncopation.)
Similarly slam-centric (though a bit more varied), Dysentery achieves on Internal Devastation what that Cepahlotripsy album did not— a simple, but continuously engaging slam-focused death metal album. Yes, the Dysentery band photo looks like three garage mechanics kidnapped a metalhead, but the music that this Massachusetts outfit plays is thoughtful and very, very, very well arranged death metal. Internal Devastation is simple, rocking and synergistic, with more chugs and chords than speed-picking, and other than the lyrical content, it’s not especially ‘brutal.’ Dysentery is easy to like the very first time you hear them.
My criticisms are limited to the few blasting sections and drum rolls, which do not connect to the music as well as they should, and also a few vocal ideas. Mostly, the vocalist employs pulsed growls and gurgles with occasional forays into the swamp of boars, frogs and crickets, and although the singer largely goes his own way, he occasionally chooses some too obvious rhythmic lines (the sort of thing where every beat is accented). But these complaints are minor.
Overall, Dysentery shows how slamming death metal can be very catchy without resorting to cloying melody— a different way of achieving the same ultra-heavy and headbanging death metal groove that bands like Bolt Thrower, Demigod, Asphyx and Necros Christos achieve. And I sure prefer the concept of slam, which emphasizes abstract vocals, meaty chugs and heaviness, over the dull ‘Operation: Technical Obliteration’ of Necrophagist and Fleshgod Apocalypse. Yeah, I’m yawning at their arpeggios and additive meters. Every song on Internal Devastation has personality and purpose. Overall, it is sort of like a slower, less technical Putrid Pile (see the kidnapped metalhead’s shirt) or an update of Pyrexia’s classic, Sermon of Mockery, but with better riffs and more slam.
Seriously, seriously good lurching death metal comes in the form of ‘Entropic Putrefaction,’ ‘A World Apart,’ ‘In Remembrance of the Lifeless,’ ‘Genocidal God’ and ‘Bound By Disease.'