Music Review - With All Their Might by Dyscarnate
Updated: Nov 30, 2018
A place where cowards thrive and good men die like dogs.
Death metal is one of those frequently misunderstood genres, where folks who don’t know any better think that it’s all unyielding grim & gloom set to a discorgrind, a la Morbid Angel, which is certainly not the case. From melodic death metal to symphonic death metal, and to bands like Dyscarnate with a very technical approach to the genre, death metal is far broader reaching than folks give it credit for.
Woefully underappreciated in the United States, the terrible triumvirate of Dyscarnate have quite a presence overseas, bringing their unique brand of death metal to the masses across the UK, Australia, and other neighboring countries. This is one of those bands that sounds bigger than they really are…it’s hard to believe that there’s only 3 members behind this torrent of sound. In fact, there’s so much going on across the 8 tracks of With All Their Might, that it really should be appreciated through headphones as opposed to a standard sound system.
A blistering assault on the senses, With All Their Might really never loses steam, offering up 39 minutes of aggression and frustration across 8 expertly produced and executed songs. And just look at that album art! It’s a thing of strength and beauty! Not that the cover makes the album by any means, but a great album deserves a great visual representation, and that is fully realized here.
I feel no pain, I know no fear, and I see no God up here.
Opening track Of Mice and Mountains perfectly sets the tone for the rest of the album, kicking into high gear almost immediately, with in-your-face guitar and frenetic double kick drums setting the punishing pace. Singer/bassist Al Llewllyn is surprisingly comprehensible in his growling and screaming, and his bass guitar hardly ever gets lost in the mix. In fact, the production of this album is uniformly excellent throughout.
Second track This Is Fire! continues the metal assault, keeping the BPM high and the aggression higher. Slightly slower than Of Mice And Mountains, with an occasional chugging refrain, This Is Fire! is no less effective than its predecessor. This is one of my favorite cuts on the album; I love the mid-song breakdown, where Matt Unsworth’s double kick drums really add to the impact of the track. The song briefly regains the speed that it started with, before closing with a purely instrumental and pounding outro.
If these walls could weep, we’d surely drown.
Iron Strengthens Iron is next, and it’s the song that was promoted heavily for the album, with the video featuring on multiple metal sites. In fact, it was through this video that I initially heard about Dyscarnate. As such, it holds a special place in my heart. It’s also just a damn good track, featuring the speed and heaviness of Of Mice And Mountains, while being as catchy and captivating as This Is Fire!. It was honestly the perfect choice to represent With All Their Might. Short, sweet, and to the point, Iron Strengthens Iron is just about the perfect death metal song.
After the triple threat of the first three tracks, Traitors In The Palace slows things down a bit, replacing the heavy anger for grinding agony. My problem with TITP is that, while it’s not a bad song, it has the misfortune of following three amazing songs, so it has a hard time standing out. Tom Whitty’s guitar is as on-point as ever, but by losing some of the established steam, this song just doesn’t have quite the impact. It does pick up near the end, but not for very long.
The tempo is then picked up by To End All Flesh Before Me, which earns the award for best song title of the album. A stuttering & marching guitar sets the tone, with the kick drums furiously keeping pace. Technically sound, with a hint of prog thrown in, this is one of those tracks that is just solid all around. It lacks the catchiness of some of the other tracks on the album, but there is some undeniable skill on display here.
Backbreaker is next, and continues the punishing pace. Because it’s more technical and less focused on the breakdowns and chorus, it has a very similar feel to To End All Flesh Before Me. It’s a great offering, with a great downtempo final third, furious double kick drums, and prominent bass guitar. Sadly, it gets overshadowed by the next track…
Which is All The Devils Are Here. Easily my favorite track from the album, All The Devils Are Here hits hard right out of the gate, and then never relents. The chords are aggressive and catchy, the chorus is head-banging worthy, and the bass guitar just sounds soooo good alongside the frantic guitar work. Also feature slight prog elements, there’s just something about this song that speaks to me.
I dread the day, for Hell is empty, all the devils are here.
Album closer Nothing Seems Right brings the tempo down to the lowest speed of the album, providing a more plodding song that ditches much of the heaviness for a more instrumental approach. The drums in particular stand out, leaving much of the double kick drum behind to focus on the cymbals and hi-hats. That’s not to say it’s slow all the way through, because it certainly isn’t. The longest song on the album by far, Nothing Seems Right alternates between the slower and faster tempo, providing the most musical song on the album.
There’s nothing left that’s right, there’s nothing right that’s left.
Though your own mileage may vary, Dyscarnate really hit it out of the park with this one. Sounding so much larger than they should, this is a band that I will absolutely keep my eyes on. I’m curious to see if they can top themselves with their next release, because I think they truly hit a pinnacle here. Heavy, unforgiving, and rarely relenting, With All Their Might should be on every metalhead’s playlist. This one is on frequent rotation with me, whether on headphones at work, in the car, or when I’m home doing chores. Give it a listen!
5 out of 5 mighty iron stars!