Reviewed: October 2017
Released: 2017, eOne Music/Good Fight Music
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
Seven years after their last album, and following some false starts and long stretches of sporadic activity, South Carolina’s Through Eyes Of The Dead (TEOTD) finally have returned to follow up 2010’s Skepsis.
Still relatively intact physically – only guitarist Steven Funderburk (also of Wretched and Lillake) is new this time around, which is rather amazing given the amount of lineup changes the band endured when it was more active, leaving guitarist Justin Longshore as the only original member – TEOTD’s sound also emerges reasonably unscathed after all this time.
The band’s tech-death histrionics recall Cattle Decapitation in both their elasticity and Danny Rodriguez roar-and-shriek vocals, but never quite reach the progressive extremes that make Cattle so, well, extreme. And that’s OK. By staying in their lane, TEOTD are able to make Disomus a logical extension of, or evolution from, Skepsis and ease the long transition from one album to the next, as opposed to coming back with something completely new or foreign.
It’s one thing to try your audience’s patience, it’s another to then betray that patience and venture off into unfamiliar territory or indulgent experimentation. Disomus may have more technical aspirations and less of a deathcore presence, but that’s a tradeoff I’ll take anytime. I’m probably not alone in that regard.
TEOTD don’t waste any time getting things rolling here. The imposing “Hate The Living” opens in a tangle of widdly-widdly guitar licks before the chug-and-churn hammer comes down and Rodriguez’s commanding vocals kick in. Disomus marks the first time the band have had the same lead vocalist on consecutive albums – something TEOTD seemingly poke a little fun at by inviting original vocalist Anthony Gunnells and his replacement, Nate Johnson, to chime in with guest appearances, screaming along with Rodriguez.
“Hate The Living” has a little bit of everything, and is both brutal and a bit playful at the same time. Things kind of alternate from thereon out, with the straight-up authority of “Obitual,” “Teras” and “Of Mortals, We Once Were” bobbing and weaving with the progressively inclined “Haruspex,” “The Binding Nightmare Hex” or “Vortices in the Stygian Maelstrom.”
The guitar work of Longshore and Funderburk is stellar throughout, offering deft soloing and nifty harmonies when they aren’t spitting out gnashing riffs. Michael Ranne – now the first TEOTD drummer to appear on consecutive albums – and longtime bassist Jake Ososkie keep things moving along nicely with their agile rhythms that occasionally boast a bit of wank, as “Till Solace, She Haunts.”
At the very least, Disomus puts TEOTD back in the game at roughly the same spot they were in 2010, with a shot at building some momentum should they choose to do so. I guess we shall see if indeed they do.
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