Review: Disbelief – The Ground Collapses

Disbelief has been around for ages. Being formed in the German state of Hesse in the early 1990s, the band has seen its fair share of line-up changes proven by a long list of former members. At the moment the lineup consists of Karsten “Jagger” Jäger as vocalist, Jochen “Joe” Trunk as bassist, David “Dave” Renner and Marius Pack as guitarists and Fabian “Fab” Regmann as drummer. The large amount of lineup changes haven’t had too much influence on their release rate though, as that list too is rather long. It contains four demos, two singles, a boxed set, a compilation and ten (!) full lengths. And they’re still going strong as they are ready to release their eleventh full-length, titled The Ground Collapses. Music-wise they hover between death and thrash with a very generous pinch of sludge added for effect, while lyric-wise they cover the darker sides of life, like suicide, depression and whatnot. So one hell of a prospect.

They’re off to a good start with the title song that, after a slow, ominous start, blasts from your speakers with quite some force, to which the relentless drum lines are by far the biggest contributor. Their speed more or less contradicts with the overall speed of the song, making them stand out even more. On top of that Karsten’s raw, grunty vocals add the right amount of filth to this song. Scaring Threat, the second song of this album, is a tad slower, but has a similar filthy vibe to it. If anything these guys at least nailed it on the filth front. However, rest assured that that is not all the good stuff this album has to offer, although the atmosphere created by this certainly is an important factor in the overall enjoyment of The Ground Collapses. It delivers 11 heavy songs in which all instruments, and the vocals of course, get their chance to shine. The guitars are constantly flowing from one to the next rhythm with the drums constantly defying those same rhythms as they are mostly faster or even much faster and the bass following the guitars. The aforementioned grunts intensify the experience even more. All this is captured in a rather heavy-set tone, although there are a few moments where at least the musical influence on the heavy atmosphere is alleviated a bit, and really only a bit, like in The Awakening and Colder Than Ice. Nevertheless it still is quite the heavy chunk to digest, but only in a positive way as far as I’m concerned.

Do not expect groundbreaking rhythms, daring compositions or raging guitar solos, because you will not find them on The Ground Collapses. There’s no need for that anyway. These guys play a gripping, heavy form of death metal with a large dose of sludge and only here and there a few thrashy aspects, as is audible in Soul Destructor and album closer Depth of Sorrow. They rely on what they know rather than trying to reinvent the genre, and to be honest, that is what they’re very good at. If you prefer your death/sludge metal heavy-set, this is one release you can buy blindly. Recommended.

Here you can also read our earlier review of Disbelief’s The Symbol of Death.

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