Disembowelment - Transcendence Into The Peripheral review

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Band: Disembowelment
Album: Transcendence Into The Peripheral
Release date: 1993

01. The Tree Of Life And Death
02. Your Prophetic Throne Of Ivory
03. Excoriate
04. Nightside Of Eden
05. A Burial At Ornans
06. The Spirits Of The Tall Hills
07. Cerulean Transience Of All My Imagined Shores

Transcendence Into The Peripheral. The title says it all, once you dive deep into the the more disturbing sounds of death-doom. I was surprised that nobody has reviewed this album, so I decided that I will tackle the underground classic from a band that left too soon.

Disembowelment formed in Melbourne, Australia where by 1993 the scene there was developing. The band already stand out despite never playing live and releasing only this sole album in their discography. However, Transcendence Into The Peripheral is not only one of the defining death-doom albums that came out in 1993, but it's one of the most disturbing albums I've ever heard. It's not disturbing in terms of stereotypical themes of death metal like gore or Satanism; it's disturbing atmospherically, vocally, and musically.

I often describe Disembowelment's music as a slower, darker, and more ambient version of Cannibal Corpse. Right off the bat, the beginning of the album starts with blast beats and the sounds of Renato Gallina's brutal gutturals, which are as deep as Chris Barnes in his glory days, but more tortured. The music gives you the feeling of dread within the rhythm changes, tempos, and how atmospherically dark the lead guitars sound. I'm usually not a fan of blast beats, but in this album they are welcomed and plentiful throughout the entire album. There's even a proto-funeral doom song in the form of "A Burial At Ornans", which leaves the listener surprised from the first few seconds because of the sudden change from piano volume to fortissimo volume. Whether the album is playing the speed of death metal or the speed of doom, this is a punishing album even when the production is not the best. In fact, the production helps with the atmosphere of the music and the delay and reverbs of the rhythms, which helps the band stand out in terms of sound.

The best characteristic of Transcendence... is in the guitar and ambient music. I love the effects of the guitar out of everything because of how disorienting the minor notes are. Disorienting atmosphere is tuned up to 11 by the time "Your Prophetic Throne Of Ivory" is nearly 4 minutes in, where the riff gives off empowering sounds of dissonance by way of one of the most disturbing riffs I've ever heard. The tunings of the guitars are so incredibly deep, which also gives out extra dissonance and sustain on top of what it already had. One of the reasons why this album is so unique from other death-doom albums is the use of dark ambient music. Small soundscapes to help establish the tone of the music in songs like "The Spirits Of The Tall Hills", the church bells in the middle of "The Tree Of Life And Death," the outro sounds of "Cerulean Transience Of All My Imagined Shores", and the semi-instrumental "Nightside Of Eden" help elevate the music's already creepy atmosphere. This album is unlike any death-doom I ever heard and I love how disturbing the music is where it sounds like actual death and dread.

The lyrics to Transcendence... are also unique for its time. With the exception of "Excoriate", a lot of lyrics are mystical, and blooming with nature and depression. A lot of the lyrics sound original and aim for that level of bleakness and mystery. From a band that's named Disembowelment they utilize minimal themes of gore and death. In "Nightside Of Eden", it talks about how people are stubborn and careless with other people's misery through a female spoken word echoed voice that made it sound chilling, and "Excoriate" is the only time in the album where it heads to brutal lyrical content, which works in unison with the already disturbing music. This album is sophisticated darkness at its finest and heads to unorthodox territories where there's a balance between brutal music and bleak lyrics.

Transcendence Into The Peripheral is one of the greatest death, death-doom, and doom metal albums I've ever heard and stands as one of my all-time favorite metal albums that's not Gothic. I find it hard for other bands to top this level of uneasiness in music, especially with the likes of contemporary death-doom or even depressive black metal. Unfortunately, Disembowelment broke up shortly after this release and have never played live. However, half the members of the band formed a tribute band in the form of d.USK and a successor side project Inverloch. Even though Disembowelment's premature breakup was too soon, this album is one of the defining and purest death-doom albums, and has been an influence on a lot of the future death-doom bands in the underground, since gaining a global cult following. For those looking for the most disturbing sounds of metal, then this album is for you.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Production: 9

Written by Gothic Metalhead | 09.10.2020


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments: 2   Visited by: 21 users
10.10.2020 - 00:58
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
In some way that disturbing sound csnn be proto drone in some aspects
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
10.10.2020 - 01:56
Absolute beast of a record
Father: How can a picture of a field be sad without a sad person looking sad in the field?
Young Woman: That's an interesting problem. Yeah, I struggle with that.

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