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Review: Display of Decay – Dust of Existence

Display of Decay is a Canadian death metal band from 2007. Dust of Existence is their 2nd full-length album following an EP from 2014. Released in September of 2015, there are 8 tracks lasting around 32 minutes long. Dust of Existence lacks nothing and is a milestone in heavy releases in 2015. Check out Display of Decay’s Facebook, Bandcamp, Bigcartel, and Youtube page!

The first sign that predicted a great album was the vocals. They sound so much like Glen Benton (Deicide), so immediately I was hooked. Second sign was the bass: it was tuned so low, I felt like the bassist was plucking strings fashioned from my intestines. Then there’s the fact that the bass was audible; that alone is appreciated. Third sign is that each song delivers a tasty culmination of old school and modern death metal in one piece. Solid production compliments every element Display of Decay meant for us to enjoy and smash our heads to.

What you will find when listening to Dust of Existence is a lot to headbang to. Though the riffs aren’t groovy, they have the same affect on you. “Created to Kill” is a great example and the first track. It has fast riffs, a lot of chugging, and a wall of death metal that closes in on you with every passing second. Not every song is like this, but they each have their own material that’s headbang worthy. “Relentless” and “Messiah” play after “Created to Kill” and they follow suit in that heavy pattern. “Created to Kill” is the heaviest song of those 3 and seems quite a bit more energized. “Messiah” has a laid-back, yet heavy vibe that is best described as a narration for impending doom (not the band).

You will also find that some songs jump between extreme death metal to the laid-back riffs that are still heavy, but don’t carry the chaotic sound that the faster parts do. “Created to Kill” is excluded from this because it’s a pummeling song through and through. “Relentless” is a great example of the jumps between chaos and heavy enough to not hit people. During the parts that are heavy enough to keep you content in your seat demonstrate a style dripping with Display of Decay’s signature sound. “Relentless” doesn’t jump that often, but when it does it’s intense. I’ll leave it at that.

When “Messiah” jumps between chaos and chill, it is more of a vast difference. Rather than jumping to chaos, it jumps to slammy riffs which is equally as good in my book. These riffs sound like they’re leading to a serious slam then it goes into that relaxed chorus where it expects the impending doom I talked about. It isn’t like that every time though; the solo has a sporadic sound to it as the band plays a thrash and death crossover. “Messiah” is an interesting song, but I have heard stranger.

“Maruta” is that song that is straight up headbanger. For half of it, chugged triplets from the guitars and bassist play and it has this thick sound that closes in on your ears from every angle. It’s quite a nice experience and it really makes Display of Decay sound like a force to be reckoned with. The song sounds like it won’t be anything special by its intro, but then it drops the bomb on you and completely changes the whole song. It goes from possible ballad to a face-kicker. The solo/technical work on “Maruta” is tasty and less sporadic than “Messiah.”

“Cellar Goreatory” is my favorite song and will surely please many of you. This song is a slamming death metal song and I mean every meaning there is to slamming death metal. The riffs just keep on coming and the growls and deep bass tie it all together so well. What I like most about “Cell Goreatory” is that no riff overstays its welcome; they make their entrance, make their presence known, then leave as they bring in their friends to replace them. By the way the song changes up, it almost sounds like 2 or 3 songs mashed into one, but at the same time it sounds like 1 continuous song. Either way its sweet.

“High Voltage Castration” sounds like a direct follow up to “Cellar Goreatory” and it isn’t because it’s the following track. The riff that plays after the intro sounds similar to the one in “Cellar Goreatory” in the slamming death metal sense. “High Voltage Castration” doesn’t stick to the pummeling formula like the other song does, but that’s okay. “High Voltage Castration” does not lack brutality and does not lose interest. The shredding solo is very loud and reminiscent of 80s thrash solos with heavy use of the whammy and screaming notes. After the first solo the song takes the level down a bit and isn’t as fun as it started, but the second solo leads to the end that brings us back to action.

Second to last is “Nyctophilia.” “Nyctophilia” sounds like it belongs with the first group of songs, but there is a sense of inevitable closure. This sense of closure can be felt in the chorus, when it sounds like its spiraling down several flights of stairs to its end. The ending is my favorite as the song title is said multiple times and a crash cymbal is viciously hit until the sudden end.

The final track is my least favorite, “Dust of Existence.” It is my least favorite because it has a very long and slow intro that seems to drag on for a bit even though it’s only about 1:30 long and the entire song is 7:11 long. The way “Dust of Existence” is played sounds out of place to every other song. I don’t know the lyrics, but I’m sure Display of Decay chose to play it that way for a good reason and it probably fits the album’s concept perfectly. Strictly speaking musically, this song has a lot more to it than the rest.

Even though it is my least favorite, that does not mean I didn’t like it or that it’s a bad song by any means. Most of this song is slow and remind me of atmospheric black metal bands, but the vocals, production, bass, and guitar tones are much different of course. If you’ve every listened to atmospheric or even depressive black metal, then you should (hopefully) know what I mean. As a fan of atmospheric/depressive black metal, this doesn’t bother me. However, it just contrasts to the rest of the album greatly. It goes from death and brutal death to depressive thing that it does. Basically it’s a strange transition, musically.

With all of that said, Dust of Existence is and audibly pleasing album for fans of death metal with some taste to it. Every song had great moments and each were interesting in their own way. Several listens through, paying attention and not paying attention, none of the songs sounded blended and that’s great. I loved how the bass cut through the mix and I loved the vocals too. I found myself bobbing my head almost the entire time. Definitely be sure to head to their Bandcamp and listen to this album.

Rate: 7.95/10

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