When seven years have passed in between albums, pressure mounts. When you’ve been teasing said return album for three years, it better damn well be worth the wait. When you play a style (i.e., deathcore) that some see as long past its expiration date, there’s some fear that your triumphant comeback will be too late to matter. After listening to Disomus, it’s pretty clear that Through The Eyes Of The Dead laugh at the pressure and any concerns are laid to rest very quickly. Let’s settle the score now: Through The Eyes Of The Dead are back and better than ever, and their fourth album may go down as the best heavy record of 2017.
What makes Disomus a notable step up for the East Coast collective is how they’ve doubled down on the menace and brutality while expanding their sonic palate in all the right ways. Most obviously, the addition of Wretched guitarist Steven Funderburk is a perfect match for the band. His inclusion has added a much greater emphasis on thrash, prog, and classic dual-guitar harmonies to the mix. While the soul of the band is still intact, there’s much more of a sense of musical playfulness that colors these songs and makes the breakdowns and riffs have much more impact. A song like “The Binding Nightmare Hex” exemplifies the band’s growth. The Morbid Angel influence is a nice touch, but the apocalyptic melodeath chorus foreshadows the album’s best moment. The second half of the tune is just a monster, growing from an enchanting solo to a twin-guitar maelstrom, to something much, much more sinister and ferocious.
It’s not like they have forgotten how to throw down, as former vocalist Nate Johnson guests on the viciously addicting “Teras”, and the opening trio of beatdowns is a musical battering ram. If there is one minor bone to pick, it’s that the final two tracks, although perfectly savage and serviceable, feel like a bit of a letdown in the wake of the preceding eight anthems. With Disomus, it’s clear that Through The Eyes Of The Dead are back to remind everyone how damn fun Grade-A deathcore can be in 2017. You don’t have to stagnate or stoop to the lowest common denominator. You can just write incredibly vicious songs that speak to your lizard brain and the more sophisticated parts simultaneously.