What’s more fun than an open-casket funeral with the Reanimator himself, Dr. Herbert West, presiding over? How about Ohio crushers Dismemberment  releasing their second full-length record, Arc of Ancients?

With two EPs and one full-length record released prior to Arc of Ancients, you may or may not be familiar with the band. Dismemberment are comprised of brothers Luke and Jacob Shively (live members of Incantation), ex-Acheron live bassist J.D. Henderly and drummer Taylor Emerine. The band has toured with Master and Solstice and appeared with Mayhem, Immolation, Morbid Angel, Gorguts, Incantation, Death Angel, etc.

Arc of Ancients is nine tracks of blackened death-thrash. Giving credit where credit is due, the overall music, the band’s sound, is heavy, thrashy, and certainly mosh-worthy. But, here’s the problem. I think I’ve heard “this” before. If you’re into Slayer, Warbringer, Venom, or Kreator (who isn’t, right?), you’ll dig what Dismemberment is doing, but, the record felt too hit-and-miss with most of the songs. I wanted face-ripping brutality, like with a Slayer record. That expectation wasn’t met, unfortunately.

Let me get specific here. When I listen to Slayer, every song (even if I don’t like it) rips your skull in half. I didn’t get that with Arc of Ancients, and I wanted it because I get the feeling that Dismemberment is probably untouchable as a live band, whereas a studio recording doesn’t do the band justice; it doesn’t represent them properly. I need something so ugly and scary that it makes Kerry King back the hell up and get away from it. I felt like Dismemberment tried but fell short of that mark from a musical standpoint.

Look, Arc of Ancients isn’t a bad record, but it’s not great, either. On the plus side, it shows loads of promise ,and like I said before, Dismemberment are most likely a band that kills it live. Tracks five, six and seven (“Winds of Tribulation,” “Perdition’s Flame” and “Now as One”) are favorites for sure, so crank these bastards to “11.”

Pre-order the album here. 

– Theron Moore

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