We are taking a look back at on of the more under rated classics of black metal . A band out of San Francisco that is one American black metal band that really got it right in a big way. Dispirit is really the only active metal band of note that bears former members though one of these guys have also played with the Fucking Champs. it's hard to hear if it's performance or production with the drums at times, but the band hits you with so much emotion and sound at once the sometimes uneven mix is mostly forgiven. It could be argued that this band is not in the depressive suicidal sub-genre. I don't think it was intended to be when it was recorded, but the emotional out put is very honest. It's obvious these guys are a influence on Deafheaven. The slowed section at the six and a half minute mark hits the sweet part when black metal meets doom in a very powerful and organic way with the screams over it ruling very hard.The vocals remain the most tortured aspect of their sound on the epic twenty minute title track. From the opening three minutes of melodic pondering to the powerful Dissection like chug that follows a cloak of atmosphere is draped over the band even at their most furious. At the twelve minute mark it drops down into synths and then this roller coaster through a nightmarish hell scape rockets into something more traditionally black metal. There is always a melodic sense to what they do, no matter how dense things keep getting.
Normally I don't like sprawling songs that break twelve minutes , but these guys make every minute count and don't bore with droning on the same stagnant tremolo picked riff for ever. The vocals have a crazed squawk to them and embody what I like about the screamed vocal approach of most dsbm bands. These guys have more in common with Totalselfhatred than other bands in that sub genre, as rocking out is the priority and they are not just moping around. They do endow their songs with more emotional depth than your average black metal band. On 'This Entire Fucking Battlefield" I can hear Emperor influence in the guitar squeals. The riffs are swirled together into a ever darkening murk by the midway point of this one. It gets as dense as death metal as the chug slows before going into a clean guitar break. They rage harder on "No One May Be Called..." This is another twelve minute song that is driven by a more straight forward metal riff. The gallop is sharp as razors. The vocals scream and gurgle with the same passionate insanity as they songs before it. At the five minute mark this is broken by by the thick rumble of bass. The guitar creeps in behind it like a build up to an Immortal song. They hang on this for longer than your average metal band would let this kind of dissonant tension build.
Things comes to a close with the dismal " Disasters in the Sun". It blasts off into what we hear every day in modern black metal but this album came out 16 years ago , putting these kids well ahead of their time. There is a slight break, but on this one they stay at a blur relative to what you expect from black metal. In the final few minutes it breaks down into some abrasive atmosphere, one of the few places where you can see why they named themselves after a Swans song. I'll round this one up to a 9.5, it's a classic despite not being perfect and worth checking out if you think Deafheaven invented this shit.