DISARM GOLAITH, Man, Machine and Murder (2008, Casket)
Man? We’ll take their word for it that this skull belonged to a male.
Machine? It’s sort of cyborg-y, this skull, and a fightin’ cyborg at that, judging by the bullet hole. So okay, a machine.
Murder? Do they really have to spell it out for us? This skull – which once carried the flesh and guts of a male member of the species – is a goddamn fightin’ machine, and if that red color behind him is to symbolize all the blood he’s bathing in after all that fightin’, then yeah, there’s a ton of murderin’ goin’ on in this cyborg skull’s warring world.
If Onslaught had kept Steve Grimmett on vocals and continued their evolution, kind of working backwards in the development of heavy metal’s sub-genre expansion, might have, in another album or two, arrived it a sound like the one claimed by Disarm Goliath, this kind of raucous yet classy, tough but melodic traditional heavy metal sound. Unfortunately D.G.’s Man, Machine and Murder EP is not recorded very well, and while the passion is clearly there, not even the most earnest delivery can help if the songs are mediocre, and these songs are mediocre without exception. The spirit is there though, so if your standards for traditional heavy metal aren’t sky-high when it comes to newer bands, then this will fit your craving for merely decent metal (I checked out another D.G. song, “Embrace the Abyss,” from their second album, which came out several years after this EP, and holy cow, it sounds a lot like Onslaught’s “Shellshock.” So there you go.)
— Friar Wagner