Written by: PP on 31/07/2010 22:23:28

I swear I keep running into unknown German metal outfits that have been together for two decades - like Disbelief here - without remembering to have heard their name mentioned anywhere (well, I did review their previous record, but still). Maybe they're not promoted either here in Denmark or in the UK, but I kid you not, for 20 years have Disbelief been a band, and released eight studio albums before this one, "Heal". It's questionable, however, whether it can be considered an album at all when it consists only of four new tracks, one re-recorded track, and three covers of a few bands that have influenced them in the past, according to the blurb.

Their own tracks feature a brand of death metal that relies on thick vocal scream/growl combination playing off halfway melodic riffs that give the band a Swedish melodeath nuance every now and then, even though they'll probably kill me for suggesting such blasphemy. Elements of thrash metal can be heard in the mix, too, though things are mostly kept at a mid-tempo level throughout the record. The compositions are moderately interesting, but also regrettably forgettable, as even after eight listens I'm struggling to remember any of the songs properly. This wasn't the case with their last album where Tue Madsen's production allowed the vocals to truly shine and the guitars to show off properly. Here, the thick sound is a little too muddy for my liking.

The three covers are all by famous bands; "Welcome Home" is a King Diamond classic, but without really knowing the original it's hard to tell whether or not the band did a good job. Same applies for "Red Sharks" (Crimson Glory), but since both tracks sound reasonably much like Disbelief's own songs, I'm gonna go ahead and give them a thumbs up for a good re-interpretation, since neither band definitely doesn't sound like Disbelief do. The last one, "Love Like Blood" by Killing Joke, is a bit more atmospheric piece. I love what the band did here, adding a melancholic ambiance to their own sound thus deviating slightly from the somewhat monotone approach otherwise. The clean vocals here are brilliant, and one is left hoping that Disbelief would experiment with them in their own recordings as well. Anyway, "Heal" is another case of not bad, but not particularly good either.


Download: Love Like Blood, The Eyes Of Horror
For the fans of: My Darkest Hate, Fear My Thoughts
Listen: Myspace

Release date 21.05.2010
Massacre Records

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