Dismember has returned to the death metal scene with Where Ironcrosses Grow. Fans of Dismember or simply Swedish death metal can go ahead and click on that little gray “X” in the upper right hand corner of your browser — there’s not much I can tell you about this release that you don’t already know.
Simply put, this album represents. Oddly, the title track, which is also the first track of the CD, is one of my least favorites. Not that it’s not good, but it’s fairly vanilla death metal. Full speed forward without a lot of variation or creativity. After that, the band really begins to shine. It’s almost like the band said, “yeah, we’ve shown you we can do the old stuff — now here’s the NEW shit!” Not that the other tracks reinvent the wheel or anything, but they do manage to change it up a bit while remaining completely old school and doing what Dismember has always done best; devistate. Later tracks, like “Forged with Hate” and “Sword of Light” are great examples of dropping the speed limit and coming up with some great grinding riffs without playing 100mph.
One thing long running fans of the band will appreciate is the production on Where Ironcrosses Grow. The band has done a good job of presenting that classic Swedish sound by presenting a clean but not overly punchy mix. The result is a bass-thick guitar tone layered over that classic clicky kick drum sound.
Where Ironcrosses Grow is an example of good text book death metal. If I met someone who had never heard of death metal before, I would not hesitate to toss this disc in and let it represent the genre. With so many bands twisting and tweaking genres like never before, sometimes it’s nice to hear something that just sounds familiar.