diSEMBOWELMENT - Transcendence into the Peripheral
Relapse Records
7 songs (59'36")
Release year: 1993
Relapse Records
Reviewed by Adam
Among the ranks of doom, there are many bands who are either woefully underrated or endured a shorter than deserved existence for reasons unknown. Australia's diSEMBOWELMENT are both. One of the earliest bands to successfully mesh death metal with doom, their influence is still felt largely in the scene today, a full 15 years after they disbanded. In their short (4 year) lifespan, only one full length album was released, shortly before the band's departure. Though this was and is unfortunate, the album in question, Transcendence into the Peripheral, has stood the test of time and become a true doom landmark.

As my list of past reviews suggests, I am a big fan of Evoken. This is partly because they have managed to carry on the diSEMBOWELMENT sound into the modern era. In fact, band founder Nick Orlando has credited both diSEMBOWELMENT and Thergothon with shaping the sound of Evoken. In listening to Transcendence into the Peripheral this becomes obvious rather quickly. The monster opening track, The Tree of Life and Death, is not only the best song the band ever recorded in my opinion, but a perfect example of the sound and style that they helped to create. It starts as a pure death metal affair, with Paul Mazziotta furiously banging away at his kit under the heavy and speedy riffs of Jason Kells and Renato Gallina, the latter of which growls out deep vocals. The all consuming change of pace starts as a short tease around a minute and a half in that hits full stride after another relentless death metal charge. The riffing is absolutely pulverizing, and quickly becomes the focus. The production, while not stellar, is just good enough to kick your ass and have you banging your head all the while. After many years, this is still one of my favorite songs in doom history. The rest of the album is no slouch either. On Your Prophetic Throne of Ivory, a track peppered with the eerie and piercing clean guitar sounds Evoken fans are used to hearing, Gallina shows his vocal range with cacophonic shrieks that are normally reserved for black metal. The result is both stunning and frightening all at once. Excoriate is structured much in the same manner as the opening track, producing the same dynamic and punishing effect on a shorter and smaller scale. After a dark moody interlude comes the most epic track, both in feel and length, in The Burial at Ornans. Slow and brooding riffs ooze out at a hypnotizing snails pace and are later joined by many nuances that I do not wish to ruin for anyone who has yet to hear them. After The Tree of Life and Death, this is the finest example of what diSEMBOWELMENT are capable of. The Spirits of the Tall Hills once again incorporates black metal shrieking into the mixture of alternating doom and death passages. Things end with the dreamlike Cerulean Transience of All My Imagined Shores (are these kickass song titles or what?), which seems much lighter in atmosphere for reasons I cannot really explain, though it is still a very dark track. This, along with The Tree of Life and Death and The Burial at Ornans comprise the band's previous EP Dusk and are really the cornerstones of Transcendence into the Peripheral.

diSEMBOWELMENT remain highly relevant in doom circles, especially after their self-titled career anthology was released by Relapse in 2005. Despite this, they are still unknown by far too many metalheads today. Transcendence into the Peripheral has become harder to track down as the years go by. However, the aforementioned anthology on Relapse contains the album in its entirety as the first disc in the set, and can be found using the link below. If you are a fan of death metal or doom, particularly funeral doom, I urge you to pick it up. Perhaps, like me, you will find an experience that will become a constant in your collection.
Killing Songs :
The Tree of Life and Death, The Burial at Ornans, Cerulean Transience of All My Imagined Shores
Adam quoted CLASSIC
4 readers voted
Your quote was: 100.
Change your vote

There are 7 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:57 am
View and Post comments