Guts and grime, blood and horror all are vital parts of doom and death metal. Not every band takes advantage of those areas, but the ones that do and have a firm grasp of all of those elements are the ones that end up etching their names on our perverse brains.
There’s a new band Dwell that’s coming out of metal-rich Denmark that has a stranglehold on these ideals, and I can’t be more pleased to talk about these lurching demons today. The band has been around only three years now, with just a 2013 demo to their name. But now they’re unloading their debut long player “Vermin and Ashes” that sounds like it was created in a crypt. It’s dusty, violent, unpolished, and vicious, and the songs really come together in a horrific, satisfying manner. In fact, this record gets better as it goes on, building momentum and intensity, and it’s a fine, hammering first entry that is bound to make a huge impact on underground metal this year.
Dwell’s ranks are made up of members of other heavy hitters such as The Vein, Cerekloth, Altar of Oblivion, Woebegone Obscured, Ad Noctum, and plenty of others. The musicians who make this vicious thing—vocalist JBP, bassist/guitarist ABL, bassist Quinten Nicolet, guitarist Mans Andersen, keyboard player Kenneth Holme, and drummer Andreas Joen—have only the worst of intentions in mind and grind out an economical but heavily meaty 38 minutes that make you feel like you’re being stuffed into a tomb and left to be tortured by whatever lost souls are trapped inside. That sounds silly. I know. But it really does feel that way.
The record begins with “A Collapse Sublime,” a track that is built on punchy, doomy goop, harsh vocals and grunts, sludge that feels inspired by Celtic Frost, and cool melodies slithering behind the terror. The song hits some calming waters for a little while before everything ruptures again and ends on a gothy, gurgly note. “Pathless and Dormant” starts with air rushing into the scene, keyboards creating a dense, scary fog, and cosmic melodies mixing in with all the ugliness. Keys continue to drizzle down, growls simmer and bubble, and the back end of it disappears into ambiance. “Vermin in My Arteries” pounds away from the start, with belching growls bleeding forth, riffs taking control, and the chorus finding a weird sense of hook. The growls try to get a little clean at times, which work, the music gets murky, a woman screams out into the night, and a speedy assault brings the track to its final resting point.
“Plunging Into Ash Tombs” opens with B-level sci-fi noises, feeling like a soundtrack from a film the MS3TK dude and robots would lambaste. That’s a positive, by the way. There are fiery lead guitars that bleed into a bruising mid-tempo assault, wild wails, sections that are bizarrely melodic, and keyboards tearing in like a laser. The drums get crushed as the track bursts open again, ending with a harsh, violent finish. “Become the Void” is a cool instrumental that sounds icy and haunting, again going back to the science lab for its ultimate inspiration. That all leads into closer “Perdition’s Mire” that boils and lets the intensity build. The vocals sound painful and throat-trashing, the riffs plod, and the band lurches along this bloody journey. There is a strong dose of viciousness that acts as a final death blow, and fiery bit of soloing leads the way to the cut’s vanishing into the night.
Dwell’s introduction into this world could not possibly be grimier, and as anyone worth their weight in doom should know, it shouldn’t be any other way. They write tight songs, the sense of skullduggery is thick and rich, and they’re only beginning on “Vermin and Ashes.” This is an awesome display of filth that’ll keep you happy the entire disgusting winter season.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/dwellperdition
To buy the album, go here: https://shop-hellsheadbangers.com/
For more on the label, go here: http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/