Jerms – Vocals
Shuan Glass – Guitar
Jimmy Knight – Drums
James Pezanoski – Bass
Matt Szlachta – Guitar
Dirge Within is a Melodic Metalcore/modern Heavy Metal band emerging in 2007. Immediately after bringing in second guitarist and bassist they went to work on their 3 song demo garnering the attention of Jagermeister Music Family catapulting them into many an endorsement and finally into their first full length album, ‘Force Fed Lies’ containing an all out American Metal assault.
Self Medicate – Scathing in its delivery, ‘Self Medicate’ evokes memories of the more recent style of Slipknot met with NYC hardcore and Metallica. The opening track of the album does nothing to comfort and rightfully so, this band is all about balls-out heavy madness. Nice long guitar solo too; I’ve been longing for one of those! Unlike many of their peers, Dirge within chooses a more melodic singer to wrangler their insanity. If there’s anything that may not be fantastic, I think the lyrics could be better. Amidts all the riffing, one has hardly any time to pick out such things whilst rattling their head into whiplash.
Forever The Martyr – One of the most interesting tracks on the album. There’s a little bit of everything for everybody. The chorus is PURE melody; reminiscent of a combination of Soundgarden meets Fear Factory. Both bands I am a big fan of, so it pleases me greatly to hear something so familiar and yet no quite so derivative like so many other records out there. This song in fact reminds me of how varied the rock scene can be this new decade.
Force Fed Lies – Increasing the brutality meter, the title track offers a teeter tottering ‘shuffle’ rhythm oft used in the blues realm, but put on top of smoldering guitar lines you’d be hard pressed to hear on any standard shuffle jam. The guitar solo throughout the song is gymnastic and played with the swiftest of delivery. Also for a change on a metal album, you can hear the bass guitar! Put simply, I like to be a little surprised when I listen an album and thus far, I think I’m becoming satisfied.
Confession – At first I was hoping the rest of the track would stay like the opening of this song, it was like putting on a fresh pair of underwear, it just felt nice and clean and provided a new, les jaded outlook (all this happening inside of your pants). Back to my thoughts, the rest of the track is typical Dirge aggression, but with a more radio friendly vibe; not so much a conformation, but a statement that they can play any game and stll be authentic. There is one scream you can hear the singer building up where you could SWEAR it was Steven Tyler of Aerosmith!
Spit – Spit’s lyrics take on sort of a punk standard with the use of any verb with –ion after it. I can’t say I don’t like that but after hearing this type of writing of all the bands my buddies were into in high school, I really don’t think a metal band could benefit from that. Metallica did it with one track off their fourth album and that’s about all I can remember any hard metal band doing from then on. The guitar solos is a bittle looser here, but still absolutely fucking cool; much more confident fingers on the fretboard in Dirge Within, they get my stamp of ‘NOT-SUCK’.
New Disease – Another teaser! Just when I was enjoying the softer, more melodious and eerie side of the band it gets ripped away for the harder stuff. What I love most is when the album goes in directions you don’t necessarily expect; where the dynamics take over as opposed to meeting a metal status quo. Unfortunately, this track has left me a bit burned; I really wanted to hear if Dirge could hang onto that eerie vibe and not take the audience somewhere other than thrashing.
Last Goodbye – After the disappointment of the last track I feel pulled back in. Last Goodbye is a call to arms of what the band is about. They stand confident in it and will not bow to expectations. The chorus is sure to keep the listener hanging onto every line, every stanza..as short as it is. One thing to point out is that this song, like most of the others on the album aren’t long enough to really allow you to become too disinterested even though their overall vibe is a bit the same. This really helps the band bring it back in the listener if they are going to have an all out listing of purely heavy tracks.
As I walk – As I walk opens with a single note riff that reminds of Dimebag Darrell’s genius. In actuality, the entire track is much like that of Damageplan, another one of my favorite heavy bands. The guttural raspy, growls of the singer of this band are done in the most confident and powerful than I’ve heard in sometime, that includes many seasoned harder metal bands. The first solo of this track is my favorite on the album. It definitely should have been longer because that was the vibe I was talking about. Its ok to be brutal, but the soul has to be there!
Inhuman – I can’t say I’m hearing too much special in this track, a bit more like an odd mix of Slipknot meets hair metal. I love my heavy and I love my hair metal, but one must be careful as to how they mix the two otherwise things can get a little messy. The breakdown section of Inhuman is weak and the riff just falls flat; its to ‘stock’. Of course, count on our guitar hero to come in and save the day when your eyes start to get heavy. Kirk Hammett is definitely being channeled…
Stain of Humanity – Never one to let you rest, Dirge goes right back into making you sweat it out, making you squirm with downbeats that crush like a megaton hammer (Zelda!). The chorus is more chaotic than the others and the double bass is frighteningly fast. You’d swear up and down that there was a tremolo effect placed on the track post recording. It kinda weirds me out actually.
Complacency – The White Album (for Dirge Within anyways) packed into one song, containing ideas every which way, from 3 different guitarists, the most proficient and long standing of them all being the ambidextrous Michael Angelo Batio who is famed for his 4 necked, X wing guitar he’s used since about the late late 80’s to early 90’s when he was in Nitro with Jim Gilette. In actuality this is the most listenable track on the record because the arrangement gets more focused, it apparent that a more seasoned musician/arranger is at work here. Not taking away from the boys but I believe that vibe should have lived up to this standard the whole time. Goddamn listen to Batio tearing up that guitar….tell me that shit doesn’t make you piss your pants when he goes into that chromatic line.