Written By: John Rabb
Label: E1 – Rating:
Dirge Within’s debut album Force Fed Lies is loaded with mid-tempo riffs, alternating vocals that transition seamlessly from screams to growls, and complex, layered harmonies. The album’s heavy, down tuned guitars, blazing solos, and diverse vocals give the record a definite metalcore feel, while discernible elements of thrash, black, and death metal are convincingly layered into a number of tracks.
Due to its catchy chorus and hard, metallic sound, “Forever the Martyr” is probably the album’s most recognizable and commercially viable track.
Songs like “Self-Medicate” and “Spit” shred in the classic sense of the word, while the title track leans more towards traditional death metal. “Force Fed Lies” is a true head banger, featuring a mid-tempo, down turned groove, melodic guitar solos, and a tune that rings true to any American metal connoisseur. Dirge demonstrates amazing range on slower tracks like “Confession,” without wandering too far beyond what the band is meant to be in terms of genre.
Jerm’s vocals are dirty, strong, and show considerable range and emotion. The album features former SOiL guitarist Shaun Glass, whose high-flying riffs soar above rolling bass and pounding rhythms. Glass is a tried-and-true veteran at both ends of the metal spectrum. Beginning his career in the early nineties with extreme metal pioneer Broken Hope, Glass went on to found American mainstream hard rock band SOiL in 1997. Dirge marks Glass’ third creative project, as he takes the lead by effectively melding the wide range of influences gained in his 15 year career in metal into a single, solid mix.
When taken as a whole, the production quality of Force Fed Lies is top notch – the song arrangements are tight and strategic, each instrument is clear and individually discernable, and the musicians play extremely well together. Fans of Lamb of God, Pantera, and Slipknot are sure to find the album both nostalgic and progressive in sound and feel. In the end, Dirge Within’s debut album offers more than a respectable work of heavy metal – talented musicians, good writing, and real aggression make this band one to watch.
Like Dirge Within? Then check out In Flames and DevilDriver