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Disembowel - Plagues and Ancient Rites

Plagues and Ancient Rites
by Dana Koch at 20 March 2018, 8:12 PM

“Plagues and Ancient Rites” is the first full length album from Chilean death metal outfit DISEMBOWEL and was released via Iron Bonehead Records. Unless my recollection deceives me, I do not believe I have ever heard a Chilean death metal band before, so I was curious. I was also amused when I opened the pictures of the band members with their faces painted, shirtless in front of burning crosses making their most loathsome scowls into the camera. This may also be a good time to throw in a plug for the album cover artwork; it’s pretty sweet in my humble opinion. I really dig the Lovecraft inspired art and it makes perfect sense given the subject matter for the album. Upon first listening to the album I noted right away the influence of old school death metal on this band. The sound is raw, brutal, and unrelenting with searing tremolo riffs, winding guitar solos, blast beats, and double bass to knock you around. DISEMBOWEL certainly bring passion, enthusiasm, and skill to their craft.

The album leads in with an unsettling, evil sounding intro. “Lord of the Shadows” skulks in heavily next amidst a tumult of harsh riffage, brutal drumming, and growling. The track is suspenseful and ominous as though a dark being’s emergence from the depths of the grey is imminent. The guitar solo has an interesting sound; I’m not certain that I was on board with the chosen tone, but it caught my attention. “IA! IA! Nyarlathotep!” uneases with its opening riff. The track kicks up with an intense energy of foreboding. The roar of a mighty ocean is drawn by “The Pact with the Sect of the Sea.” This may have been my favorite track on the album. The groove in the rhythm sections was catchy and then swelled into a dark, hair raising refrain. “Los Antiguos Eran….Los Antiguos” picks up right where the last track left off with the same intensity. Toward the middle of the song things become a little more atmospheric. There is a catchy guitar riff and it sounds as though loathsome dark lords are rising for vengeance.

“Plagues of the Ancient Rites” features compelling riffs and an impressive shredded solo. “The Ancient Cult of Cthulhu” looms in murkily before picking up intensity. The band did a fine job of achieving a sinister sound on this track. Certainly the slimy tentacles of Cthulhu were indeed slithering, beckoning. “En el Abismo” and “Antra Gnomorum” round off the album with two more savage tracks to send the masses to the pit. DISEMBOWEL, with their first full length album, have succeeded in delivering a well written, well produced album. The band gets cool points with me for being a bit novel as far as sticking thematically to Lovecraft. I don’t feel that their sound is overly original in its approach, but I would definitely be interested in seeing what these guys would do live.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Intro- Innsmouth Evocation
2. Lord of Shadows
3. IA! IA! Nyarlathotep!
4. The Pact With The Sect Of The Sea
5. Los Antiguos Eran….Los Antiguos
6. Plagues Of The Ancient Rites
7. The Ancient Cult of Cthulhu
8. En el Abismo
9. Antra Gnomorum
Goat - Drums
Azathoth - Guitars
Leviathan- Vocals, Bass
Record Label: Iron Bonehead Productions


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Edited 22 March 2019

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