By Thor

I've been an avid death metal fan since the days when Zubaz were socially wearable and the potential of catching your fanny pack on various door knobs and the like was a legitimate concern. At the time, the relatively few death metal bands were making music with a level of aggression, speed, musicianship and heaviness that was unprecedented. More than twenty years have passed and the number of death metal bands has multiplied exponentially. Now I find myself rarely able to make it through an entire album of anything new. There's a blueprint that nearly all bands of the brutal persuasion follow, never deviating and always imitating. And really, what's left to explore of what two decades ago was an exhilerating and largely uncharted musical frontier? Now, there's only an extraordinarily small minority of bands worth paying attention to. They are the few that execute the form to perfection and they are rare indeed.

So, after acquiescing to my grumpy-old-curmudgeon role in the death metal scene, I've managed to find another band that is analogous to the whipper-snappers I WANT on my lawn: Domination Through Impurity.

I had never heard of DTI before I gave their new album, "Masochist", a listen so that I could blather on with my witty opinions and brilliant analysis on the matter. My verdict is a simple one: "Masochist" is a fantastic album. From top to bottom, every song is heavy, technical, relatively accessible and pissed off. Each song is composed dynamically, utilizing all the death metal conventions in just the right proportions. The music is serpentine, grooving and winding, even during the blast parts, similar to the auditory vibes vomited forth by bands such as Vile and Severe Torture.

One of the first things I noticed was how many attributes DTI shares with another of my favorite bands, Lust of Decay. And after doing some research in preparation for this brilliant treatise you're currently reading, I'd come to find out that both members of DTI (that's right...there's only two of them) are also members of the aforementioned LOD. Drummer Jordan Varela's style is unmistakeable. He's a fantastic drummer who somehow manages to play death metal unlike any of his fellow extreme metal sticksmen. One of his many signature style flourishes is creatively employing high-hat lifts and cymbal bells in both beats and fills that are unique to the death metal context. He's all over the kit but coherently and with a real sense of compositional taste. Vocalist/guitarist Joe Payne is the total package. His riffs are sick, his leads are brilliant and his vocal performance on "Masochist" is varied and brutal, never approaching monotony and always optimizing the heaviness of the music underneath.

There's nothing on this album that you haven't heard before if you're into extreme metal but it's execution is top notch, giving it an enduring shelf life that's lacking in many other extreme genre offerings as of late. In an era when the word "extreme" is only associated with Mountain Dew commercials and the cutting edge has long been blunted, the heart-exploding shock delivered by Domination Through Impurity's "Masochist" is something to behold. This album is metal's version of Dr. Frankenstein, reanimating death and leaving carnage and destruction in its wake.