Dismember - Like an Everflowing Stream
Nuclear Blast
Death Metal
8 songs (31:06)
Release year: 1991
Dismember, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Tony

“But let justice roll down like waters. And righteousness like an everflowing stream!” Amos 5:24

At the Gates, Dark Tranquility, Arch Enemy. What do these three have in common? Three Swedish bands. All Melodic Death Metal. The reaches of Sweden’s chief musical export have reverberated across the world. I’m sure all of us in one way or another have enjoyed Melo-Death. Looking at it from my musician standpoint, and not a fan, it’s hard to not say that some of the best guitarists out there belong to Melodic Death Metal. The Amott brothers are one of the best duos to shred in the same band. Carcass famously founded this genre with phenomenal releases such as Heartwork and Swansong.

But what of Swedish Brutal Death Metal? Where is there value in the genre so unlike the trends of the Gothenburg style? Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Like an Everflowing Stream. by Swedish legends Dismember. One of the earliest Swedish Death Metal bands, formed in 1988, Like An Everflowing Stream is regarded as one of the greatest Death Metal albums of all time by anyone who has listened to it. It has one of the coolest cover art pieces of all time, and while you can’t judge a book by its cover, don’t you get the feeling that Transylvanian Hunger is the penultimate Norwegian Black Metal release by the photo on the front? Like an Everflowing Stream looks like the lava river to Hell. And the music matches the brutality of the cover. Sometimes a band will receive a surprise of the month accolade, but very rarely will a band release a debut that is such a monumental effort that it can be deemed worthy of the classic title. Like an Everflowing Stream is not an album laden with blast beats that quickly grow stale, there aren’t shredding guitar solos once every verse, and there is no wizardry on the drums reminiscent of Inferno or George Kollias. However, each member of the band, or should I say (dis )member, is a true professional at their respective instruments. I looked for this album for a long time and it was always very pricey online. Fortunately I found this masterpiece in a hole in the wall metal store in San Francisco, and from the moment I spun this in my player, it hasn’t left its spot as a consistent regularity that I feast my ears and mind on.

Like an Everflowing Stream begins with a creepy sounding intro before breaking into one of the heaviest, most consistent, and well played Death Metal songs of all time. Override of the Overture is a rich tapestry in which groovy riffs and piercing melodies spin around you and devour you as if you were entrapped by a spider. The second riff of this song becomes the riff verse, and while it’s a short riff, this type of guitar and rhythm playing proves that it doesn’t take a guitar God and drum machine to produce some perfect Death Metal. What it does take however, is a punishing level of fortitude and a passion to wreak havoc on the listener. There are two guitars which work together and work off of one another with perfect efficacy. There are harmonies, where one guitar will play an intricate arrangement of notes while the other simply brutalizes everything around it.

You’ll immediately notice upon hearing the solo to Override of the Overture that Dismember have an excellent knowledge of melodic and key arranged lead guitar, as this solo works its way beautifully through the other pieces, before leaving way to another minute or so of Death Metal perfection. From the moment I heard this song I knew that what I had heard about this album would reign true. Sadly enough, the only reason why I bought this album is because of the Secret History of Death Metal by Terrorizer magazine. The fact that neither I, a scholar of Metal, nor any of my friends had even heard of this album disgusts me. Face it, America (specifically my Florida) is the hub of Brutal Death Metal. There are several quality Swedish Brutal bands (along with Norway’s Blood Red Throne ) that are more than top players in the scene. As Override of the Overture ends it gives way to a short and sweet track, and while this is one of my least favorite on the entire album, it’s still fantastic. Soon to Be Dead is over as quickly as it began. Bleed for Me surfaces and is another ingenious composition of what makes Brutal Death Metal so intriguing. There is a perfect combination of exciting riffs, another brilliantly wrought solo, and perfectly placed drums and vocals. Vocals done by Matti Karki are like a harsher, more pissed off and deeper version of John Tardy’s vocals in Obituary. The aforementioned band is well known and appreciated for its uniqueness along the lines of approaching Death Metal from a different angle. Dismember deserve the same accolades. While this is Brutal Death Metal at its core, there is little if anything that can compare to the sheer power that this album emits. Each riff brings forth swirling emotion, each note and melody evoking a different feel, while all is evil and heavy. And So is Life is track 4, and it’s a track whose guitar work and riff structure can bring you to your knees. This song has everything that you look for in a perfect Death Metal song. And like the previously mentioned tracks, it builds on the strength Dismember establish on Like an Everflowing Stream. Dismembered is a nearly 6 minutes opus and a true killing track that stands out even amongst an ocean of slaying songs. It starts off as each guitar plays a melody over intro style drum hits before emerging from this intro with a victorious and beautiful solo. And out of nowhere blast beats and a harsh scream emit from your speakers and hit you like a baseball to the forehead. This song is arguably the most violent and heavy on the album, and to go from a moment of beauty to a moment of controlled cacophony with such a seamless transition is masterful. Of course like the other strengths on the album, Dismembered branches off into several wonderful bridges before the first true shredding solo comes forward. Skin Her Alive is another scorcher with some of the strongest solos and guitar work.

Just when you thought the finale of the album would be all brawn and no brains, Sickening Art once again brings the songwriting talent of this band to light, and never lets the album long crescendo die down.

As this utter masterpiece draws to a close, you’re left speechless, wondering how at this time your ears could wade through a sea of senseless boring monotonous Death Metal before reaching Like an Everflowing Stream. For the couple of years I browsed this website before I was granted the role of reviewer I always wondered how I’d do as a one. Each time I saw an album reviewed that I loved I thought how the review would be if I put my two cents in. Every time I saw a titanic album reviewed I always wished I could review it myself. My specialty is Black Metal over all other Extreme Metal genres, but like my first classic, another Death Metal masterpiece grinds its way out of the woodwork. I am so thankful to not only own this album but to have the esteemed pleasure to review it for all of you. Like an Everflowing Stream, my friends, is truly a slice of perfection to behold.

Killing Songs :
Tony quoted CLASSIC
Other albums by Dismember that we have reviewed:
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
Dismember - Massive Killing Capacity reviewed by Alex and quoted 92 / 100
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