There’s a time and place for nuance, progression, atmosphere and sophisticated forms of artistic expression. There’s also a time to get your musical face bashed in. Since 2009, Australia’s Disentomb has specialized in the latter category, placing themselves comfortably in the pack of modern, brutal death metal. This is the style designed specifically to be as heavy and shockingly harsh as possible. No mercy. No prisoners. No survivors. 2014’s Misery was an exhilarating example of this, and put them ahead of the pack of shock-happy pig squealers that still populate the metal landscape.
But, as it often happens, bands eventually face a choice. Stay reliably loyal to your original style, or try something new to push it forward. On their latest album, including the title track “The Decaying Light,” Disentomb takes their brutality and builds on it. They add chord progressions and riffs more akin to the technical death metal of the Sumerian-records variety, but without the sometimes excessive compression and noise-gating that saps away the music’s power. Don’t worry, the music is still crushing across the entire album. But it’s cool to see a band try and innovate without spoiling their sound. The Decaying Light comes out on July 12 via Unique Leader Records.