Review: Dismal “Memento Mori” [Australis Records]

Review: Dismal “Memento Mori” [Australis Records]

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I’ll try to make this as short and sweet as I possibly can, but first I’d like to take a step out from behind the curtain.

When I sit down to write my reviews, I try to approach things from a promotional point of view. I see myself as in service to these groups that work so diligently to create the works of art that stem directly from their hearts and souls. I always try to put a band’s best foot forward, and if I don’t like an album I always try to sell it to someone who will. It’s not that I’m afraid to write a bad review, I have done it before. I just feel that:

My writing is better utilized to highlight the positives.

And

It’s just not fun for me to shit on someone’s art.

With all that out in the open, I’d like to talk about Dismal.

Dismal is a traditional doom band out of Chile. Memento Mori, as best as I can tell, their first EP or possibly demo, is what I would describe as an unfortunate album. I’m sad to say that I found it to be virtually unlistenable. A criminally under produced mess, drowning in its own noise. Sometimes the lofi sound works well as a creative choice, but if this was on purpose it crosses a line. Maybe there’s an audience out there for it, but that seems like a stretch to me.

The most tragic thing about this is that there seems to be some good ideas buried deep beneath the slop of Memento Mori that are begging to be discovered. This is not a denouncement of talent, but a plea to please try again. I would love to hear it reworked, but as it stands, this just does not seem to be a complete work to me. As it is, I simply can not recommend it.

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Peter Morsellino

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