Dismember's debut album is one of the crucial documents of the early-'90s Swedish death metal scene. Along with Unleashed's Where No Life Dwells, Grave's Into the Grave, and Entombed's Left Hand Path, this disc established a sonic template that retro acts like Bloodbath and Death Breath, and young bands like Fatalist, are still adhering to today. The downtuned, ultra-distorted guitar and bass riffs are backed by punk-inflected drumming that owes more to Discharge than Slayer, and vocalist Matti Karki barks, gurgles, and roars like a pissed-off Rottweiler with a mouthful of fresh blood. This is the sound Dismember have continued to crank out right up to the present day, and it was all present virtually from their first demo. They keep things brutally efficient, too; while the band's semi-theme song "Dismembered" nudges the six-minute mark, "Soon to be Dead" rips past at a mere 1:55, and "Skin Her Alive," which caused the band some trouble with censors, requires only 2:15 to make its rather unsubtle point. Every song on this classic album is a killer, and all make the case for the Swedish variety of death metal -- grinding, less fixated on technical achievement than in getting heads banging and mosh pits exploding -- being superior to the Floridian scene with which it coexisted.
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AllMusic Review by Phil Freeman