DISPERSER – Demo 2021

DISPERSER – Demo 2021

This 3-track demo release by the US black metal horde Disperser turned out to be a most pleasant surprise and so I figured that we should discuss this melancholy little gem in more detail below. So, let us get down to business, shall we? 

Adopting the rhythms and rawness of early black metal but injecting a massive dose of something that is strangely unnerving and tinged with a sense of deep-seated longing into their compositions, there is something unfiltered and personal about it that is attractive and appealing. There is also an immediacy and expressiveness as well as plenty of light and shade to these three well-crafted tunes, and it hardly lacks distinct melodies either, which is perfectly exemplified by the hypnotic "Beggar King" where the band as a whole locks into a groove of its own and simply slays for three minutes straight. This one is undoubtedly the highlight of the demo thanks to its memorable riffs and the fact that everything comes together here and ticks all the proper black metal boxes for your truly.

The lyrics to opening track "Lesser Stars" seem almost conversational in a certain sense and the calm, serene guitars as well as the keyboards are quite evocative and atmospheric. The spoken words are excellent but the pained, desperate howls of agony that sneak into the piece seem a little out of place and do not complement the beautiful melodies that much. Still, it is effective in terms of establishing a mournful mood from the get-go and it contains several interesting layers and textures.

"Splintered Ladders" reeks of loss and despair, and it is a rather trance-inducing piece of work too due to the morose melodies and the depression-fueled vocals. As with "Beggar King", the bass is prominent in the mix and the things that the enigmatically named R comes up with are hugely impressive and add a whole other layer and dimension to their song material. Just do me a favor and listen closely to what he is doing throughout the demo – those sinister basslines fucking rule! 

From heavy and dissonant to introspective and mellow, there is something special about the dark aura and bleak vibe of this short, self-released opus that makes it appear uncoupled from current black metal trends; it seems to walk its own path. Given that these are early days and that this is Disperser’s first proper output, it will be interesting to see what how they evolve musically in the future. I certainly like what I am hearing here, and I look forward to their next release already. Now if you will excuse me, I need to listen to "Beggar King" again.


Demo 2021 | Disperser (bandcamp.com)