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Dyscarnate - With All Their Might Award winner

With All Their Might
by Jon Conant at 01 November 2017, 3:30 AM

I will attempt to contain my excitement in this review, but that may prove to be futile as I have not been this invigorated by a new album release in quite some time (and 2017 has been an incredible year for music). DYSCARNATE is a Death Metal trio hailing from the UK, originally forming in 2004 as “Incarnate”. While they may have formed 13 years ago, their early years were mostly limited to some demos and an EP, until they dropped their first full length effort (“Enduring the Massacre”) in 2010, and then rose to their first real level of prominence with their second full length album (“And So It Came To Pass”) in 2012. Metal Archives lists them as Death Metal, and while their first two entries back up that label, their recently released third (and clearly best) album, “With All Their Might”, proves to transcend the genre of Death Metal and take chunky, groovy, blast beat driven riffs to a whole new level. And despite signing to Unique Leader Records to release it, they do not compromise on the heavy guitars or powerful harsh vocals that define their sound. Let's dive in…

After 5 years of waiting for DYSCARNATE fans, 2 months ago the band released their first single (and accompanying music video) off “With All Their Might”, Iron Strengthens Iron. Holy shit does it go hard. After a brief intro, “Iron Strengthens Iron” launches into it's first of many quick and driven riffs. While they are clearly retaining the pounding Death Metal sound that garnered them attention in their second full length, they have moved into a modern, more Djent/Groove Metal blend, all while retaining the heavy, guttural guitars and technical precision. This is truly a fusion of the modern Hardcore/Djent/Groove sound that is becoming popular, without compromising on the true Death Metal sound that “real” Metal Heads feel should never be compromised on. If DYSCARNATE had a larger following, it would not be an exaggeration to say this song is a game changer for modern Metal.

And how about those vocals? Guitarist Tom Whitty and new bassist Al Llewellyn split duties, bringing a one-two punch that feels fresh and invigorating. Whitty takes the clear “lead vocalist role”, providing classic Death Metal growls with raw power that drives the bulk of their music. However, Llewellyn sees plenty of vocal time himself, often in the middle of tracks, providing a higher pitch Black/Doom Metal scream. Both are fantastic, and they work very well together. These are some of the most powerful and precise harsh vocals you will hear in modern metal. I think far and away my favorite aspect of the vocal delivery is how it works with the music. The words and the way they deliver them move and groove with the music, like they were written together. One of my pet peeves (I'm looking at you NE OBLIVISCARIS) is when bands write music, write vocals, and then just lay the two on top of each other without much respect for how they were written. DYSCARNATE does not do this, and I love it.

As you listen to the rest of the album, which is a brief 8 songs long, you are going to hear a lot more of what I have described above. Chugging, groovy riffs, insanely powerful vocals, and a dark brooding atmosphere driven by amazing lyrical work. Album opener, “Of Mice and Mountains”, launches straight into it, and away we go. But don't just think DYSCARNATE is a one trick pony. Let's talk about their second single and accompanying lyric video, Traitors In The Palace. Holy black/doom metal batman, is that Dimmu Borgir I hear? Nope, just DYSCARNATE showing that they absolutely have range. “Traitors In The Palace” is slower, atmospheric, and dark. It is driven by some of the coolest vocals I have heard in a long time (Al Llewellyn really shines here), and the lyrics are amazing. Amazing. Here's a quick excerpt:

Weaker begets weak begets strong begets stronger,
All born equal shall remain as such no longer.
Stronger begets strong begets weak begets weaker,
Swords borne of shackles as the sought becomes the seeker.

I know that if Metal is to survive as a genre, we need to make sure it grows and becomes more accessible to the mainstream. But at the same time, Goddamnit if those aren't some of the most metal vocals I have ever heard, and I can't get enough. And finally, in regards to the positives of this album, don't think I forgot about co-founding drummer Matt Unsworth. I won't pretend to know a ton about the finer details of drumming, but I know that Unsworth's notes are technically precise, cleanly delivered, and he writes his parts to drive the song and make it better, and not just to show off his ability. While the latter may often be fun (I'm looking at you, DREAM THEATER), the drums on this album prove to embody the ensemble nature of what makes DYSCARNATE work so well. It's not one man stealing the show, it's 3 guys working together to create the best blend of sounds they can. And what's more, you get the feeling that they aren't just writing music they think others want to hear, or they think will sell, but they are writing music that they want to hear. That's what makes a band great, in my humble opinion.

All in all, this album is heavy, dark and excels across almost all aspects of what makes Metal great. If you like truly heavy Death Metal, you are in for a hell of a 39 minutes. As someone who had only vaguely heard of DYSCARNATE two months ago, “With All Their Might” has brought them to the forefront of my radar.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 8
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Of Mice and Mountains
2. This is Fire
3. Iron Strengthens Iron
4. Traitors in the Palace
5. To End All Flesh Before Me
6. Backbreaker
7. All The Devils Are Here
8. Nothing Seems Right
Tom Whitty - Guitar, Vocals
Al Llewellyn - Bass, Vocals
Matt Unsworth - Drums
Record Label: Unique Leader Records


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Edited 26 February 2021

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