Dismember - Massive Killing Capacity
Nuclear Blast
Death Metal
11 songs (37'56")
Release year: 1995
Dismember, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Alex
Archive review

Current situation in the world, the winds of war swirling overhead, got me listening to Dismember’s Massive Killing Capacity. More on this later. As I was listening to this landmark album, I thought to myself that I need to come up with the archive review. So what if it is an old, 1995, release. This is how “old school” death metal was meant to be played. Those who enjoyed this album back in a day would have a chance to reminisce and dust off a few more old albums from their collections. Those are not yet familiar with it will be finally introduced.

The album starts with two songs which could be called the epitome of what Massive Killing Capacity is all about. Both I Saw Them Die and the title track deliver straight-in-your-face and memorable guitar riffs. I Saw Them Die is more of a mid-tempo song, while Massive Killing Capacity speeds things up. With this album, Dismember’s third if I am not mistaken, the band perfected their trademark “buzzsaw” guitar sound by teaming up with Tomas Skogsberg and his famous Sunlight Studios. Twin axes by David Blomqvist and Robert Senneback etch their mark into a listener’s brain. Sometimes they grind you into a submission (Wardead), sometimes the Mid-Eastern tinged riff gives a downright demonic feel (Hallucigenia). Casket Garden, my first Dismember experience when it was released on the eponymous single, for example, is another representative song from the album. While the songwriting approach is simplistic, it is nevertheless effective, as the band manages to keep the songs just the right length to make you headbang and stomp without getting repetitive. Massive Killing Capacity is quick in its all-out attack on your senses which leaves no prisoners.

In addition, the album contains a few catchy, melodic throughout songs which almost serve as anchors. On Frozen Fields and Collection By Blood are very strategically positioned this way. On Frozen Fields introduces melodic reverberating guitar sound popularized these days so widely by Amon Amarth. It is also a faster song played to the tune of blast beat drumming handled perfectly by Fred Estby. The whole rhythm section, in fact, is awesome and as heavy as an elephant’s ass (forgive me the expression, but I heard/read this phrase somewhere and it fits Dismember description just perfectly). Richard Cabeza propels Crime Divine with his march-like 4-string pounds, and gives To The Bone brooding atmosphere with his almost jazzy loops.

Another standout part by Dismember is their leads. Practically every song has one. Never overbearing they are mostly melodic, harmonized (Crime Divine) or chaotic (Wardead) in nature. Lead guitar grabs a centerstage in the instrumental Nenia. After listening to this piece you will never be able to say that Death Metal can’t be melancholic.

The closer Life – Another Shape of Sorrow starts with the organ/mellotron sound of the scary funeral procession. Why? It is a song of a dying man who is at the end of his life, and he is shedding all his fears and welcomes “sweet death” which will bring relief. The tempo picks up and the song transforms into the catchiest piece of melodic blast beat ever written. The closing melody of the track is almost life affirmative, so when the organ comes in at the end you are no longer afraid like you were at the beginning of the song.

I doubt many “world leaders” listen to Dismember. Too bad. They should as Dismember finds the most blunt, cold and merciless way to describe war. Just listen to this:”Fool killing fool/Conflict make us tick/Pig killing pig/The human race is sick” from On Frozen Fields or “Wardead through bloodshed/Face-up, forgotten corpses/Unburied” from Wardead. When Matti Karki delivers this in his own, very personal, barking manner, you can’t help it, but pause and shiver. Cover art, warmonger machine crushing skulls with every step, fits the lyrics perfectly.

All in all Massive Killing Capacity is a punishing, dry, without any fat or fillers, pulsating album of old-fashioned melodic brutality. If you haven’t heard it before, get it now, the time is right.

Killing Songs :
There are no fillers on this album!
Alex quoted 92 / 100
Other albums by Dismember that we have reviewed:
Dismember - Like an Everflowing Stream reviewed by Tony and quoted CLASSIC
Dismember - Dismember reviewed by Alex and quoted 82 / 100
Dismember - The God That Never Was reviewed by Alex and quoted 87 / 100
Dismember - Where Ironcrosses Grow reviewed by Alex and quoted 90 / 100
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