Live the Storm
That 14-year-old in Cheboygan who just fragged your digital ass for a fifth time in a Halo 3 death match, the one who calls himself n00bslaya1994, this is probably his soundtrack. At least the little fucker has decent taste.
In a perfect world this rampaging platter of d-beatery would pulse through hockey rinks everywhere, replacing that annoying Mortal Kombat techno dance thing as the sports hype theme of choice. Ah, a boy can dream.
Owing as much to Ace of Spades as it does to Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing, Live the Storm is a pick-sliding, gang-chorused fireball of punk fucking rock fun. For all the talk of mushroom clouds, self mutilation and funeral pyres, Tompa et al are clearly having a blast on their rampaging second *Relapse* album [Thanks for the catch, Adam].
Like grindcore, d-beat is one of those niche styles that excels and thrives as much because of its self-imposed limitations as despite them. Swedes Disfear don’t do much to advance the three-decade old style, but their second album exemplifies all that made the legion of Discharge clones great unleashing their latest powerload of songs.
Guitarist Bjorn Pettersson gets some extra help on Live the Storm from ex-Entombed shredder Uffe Cederland. Tomas Lindberg, who managed to squeeze this album in between recording with The Great Deceiver and an At the Gates reunions sounds are focused and forceful as he has in years.
The lyrics, all upbeat and revolutionary, manage to cram in nods to prime George Romero films (“Testament”) and several repetitions of the Lovecraftian concept of “dead but dreaming” (“Fiery Father,” “Testament” again).
And we haven’t even talked about closing track “Phantom,” a circle pitting blast that’s way more engaging than any seven minute (!!!) d-beat song has a right to be.
Disfear’s 2003 effort, Misanthropic Generation, was a workmanlike if rather unremarkable album bogged down by mushy production, but Kurt Ballou’s (Converge) knob twiddling on Live the Storm is crystalline. Each instrument gets its own space in the mix, which is beefy and raw. Frequent solos cut across the chunky guitars and snapping drums propel the entire enterprise with a compelling, infectious energy.
Again, Disfear are not teaching the old d-beat dog new tricks, but they are getting the most out of Fido’s beloved standbys. Saying that guys whose C.V.s include Slaughter of the Soul and Left Hand Path have dropped a landmark album is not something to be done lightly. But Live the Storm does represent five relaxed scene vets having the time of their life playing what they want.
One of Relapse’s first 2008 releases is also one of the year’s first must buys.