Posts Tagged ‘Transcendence into the Peripheral’

The Sleeping Shaman: Roadburn 2012 Review By Saúl Do Caixão

Posted on Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Bloody Hell, another Roadburn review, I hear you cry! The reason I too am adding my proverbial iron to the fire is the same thing that makes this festival sell out in under ten minutes every year – of the four Shamanic disciples that attended this festival, we all saw vastly different lineups, arguably completely different festivals in some cases!

And so, it remains for me to clear up the scraps left behind by my trusty colleagues Paul (Devil’s grip, the Iron Bladder) and Adam, not least to voice my disagreement with The Right Honourable Mr. Stone over The Obsessed, but I digress… As you will probably deduce, I am a man who likes his doom fairly traditional or firmly within the murky realms of death metal, but there’s no concrete formula!

The maddening thing is, even with our merry quartet’s eclectic palette, there are holes in our report, and for that we are sorry; we would have loved to have been everywhere at once, but we haven’t quite mastered the art of bending space and time to meet our will – working on it for 2013, but enough introductory drivel, on with the show…

As an opening act, diSEMBOWELMENT (or rather, their mutated clone d.USK) seemed like a rather odd choice, not least because they were one of the main draws of the festival for a number of people! However, it’s indicative that, despite the odd timing, the main room of the 013 was packed for the return of this seminal Antipodean death doom collective. Minus founding guitarists Renato Gallina (also vocals) and Jason Kells, I must admit to having felt a twinge of apprehension as the lights dimmed, compounded by the fact that the sound of Transcendence Into The Peripheral (their seminal 1992 opus from which this special set was drawn) is so unique as to have left doubts in my mind as to whether a live re-enactment twenty years later could live up to my expectations.

I’m delighted to say that these suspicions proved to be completely wrong, as we were treated to over an hour of perfect death metal. From the moment the grinding initial riff of ‘The Tree Of Life And Death‘ rang out, it was clear that a group of skilled musicians were on stage – when the odd time change set in, with its glacial, almost black metal riff, it was unmistakably diSEMBOWELMENT. The unconventional song structures, tones and guttural vocals are what have caused this band to stand the test of time and be held in such high regard by so many.

Interestingly, you only had to glance at the singer’s patches (Brujeria, Corrupted…) to realize that this band was one of the first to successfully merge death, grind and doom metal into a coherent whole, and it was a total lesson in brutality and skill as they tore through the whole album (I think?), complemented by the usual perfect Roadburn sound and a backdrop of suitably grim, pagan and ancient atmospheric visuals. A performance so intense that it left me needing a moment of quiet reflection, and wondering quite how the rest of the festival was going to live up to this flawless opening act!

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