Repulsive Dissection- Church of the Five Precious Wounds

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Saturday, October 10, 2015

It has been close to six years since international death metal band Repulsive Dissection released their debut full length Cut Open the Aberration. Comprised of members from Japan, Ukraine, Sweden, and the UK at the time, the group’s collaboration worked despite the fact that none of it was all written in different places. I reviewed it at the time and found it to be a heavy hitting release, though one that was hinting at bigger and better things to come. Since then, drummer Fredrik Widigs departed and Davide “BrutalDave” Billia (Septycal Gorge, Antropofagus) has been brought in for sophomore effort Church of the Five Precious Wounds. Repulsive Dissection has continued their combination of technical and brutal death metal on this album, but there’s been a noticeable jump forward in both writing and production values and this has pushed them to an entirely new level.

Cut Open the Aberration had its share of standout riffing and unrelenting brutality, but sometimes seemed to fall into the typical brutal death metal patterns just a bit too frequently and the production was a little rough around the edges. For their follow up, Repulsive Dissection has taken this base and taken everything up a notch. The instrumental work still blends brutal death metal chugging and slams with technical riffing and fast blasts, but there’s a bit more unpredictability than before. Church of the Five Precious Wounds excels at providing twists and turns at almost every moment, all with songs that switch tempos regularly and do their best to completely bludgeon the listener. You could probably say that about just about any brutal or technical death metal album, but the difference here is that there’s a good deal of substance to back up the dizzying level of technicality. Whether it’s the slamming grooves or off-kilter riffing on songs like “Zealot (Power in the Blood)”, there’s a lot to keep you coming back for more and sections that make each of the eight tracks distinguishable. Repulsive Dissection also has bigger production values than before, as every instrument hits harder and it sounds like there is a bit more space between them which makes it easy to pick out what each member brings to the table.

Tom Bradfield’s vocals were one of the elements of this band’s music that grabbed me back in 2009, and that continues to be the case here. His primary style is spread between polar opposite ranges, as most songs start off with guttural growls and gurgles that give way to high pitched screams and shrieks. Compared to some of the others out there that go for a similar style, Bradfield has that perfect level of distortion that makes his lower pitches sound downright unhuman at times and it never wavers over the course of the entire album. As you might have guessed from the title Church of the Five Precious Wounds, Repulsive Dissection has turned their focus to organized religion this time around and has integrated several sound clips that reinforce the lyrical content. With an entire release themed around the hypocrisy of religion these clips fit in well and Bradfield’s performance once again puts it over the top, with the recording giving him the spotlight regularly.

Church of the Five Precious Wounds finds this international group offering up technical/brutal death metal that hits even harder than their debut and has more varied riffing than before. There’s still plenty of blasting and slamming for the death metal fans that care about that element of the music above all else, but there are some experimental flourishes and unexpected instrumental transitions that may even grab some that aren’t always crazy about this particular metal style. It’s a natural step forward, and one that’s even more impressive when you consider that all of the people involved are in different countries and have other projects they’re busy with.

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