This band is a rediscovery for me. I loved Disbelief’s 2003 album “Spreading the Rage” and witnessed a dynamic live performance at the Camden Underworld about the same time. I can still picture a collection of big hairy buggers doing their stuff on stage. I bought their previous albums and followed them to “Navigator” (2007), when for no reason I can explain I lost track of Disbelief and their infectious rage. To bring the story up to date, Disbelief have released four albums since, making “The Ground Collapses” their eleventh.
The raucous and familiar lisped tones of Karsten Jäger lead us into the ominous title track which opens the album. Controlled hell breaks loose. The scene becomes filled with dark, uncompromising clouds. This is atmospheric heavy music with a purpose. “The Ground Collapses” is an epic piece. The winds blow, the guitar is like sword, and the song title is apt. There’s no weight limit here. “Scaring Threat” is no less heavy. The juggernaut is marching. It’s not really subtle but musically it has its twists. It hammers itself into your brain. I heard “mercy” – there’s none of that here. “The Awakening” is fast and hard, whirls and twirls, and pummels us to death, ferociously. Hard and heavy, and reminiscent of a death metal sound which was prevalent in the late 1990s and early 00s. The deep riff running through “The Waiting” carries menace. There are epic moments. The atmosphere is dark. The song structures are strong and even have melody. Karsten adds his piece with deathly vocals and whispered threats. The ringing guitar on “Colder than Ice” reminded me of how “Spreading the Rage” sounded. It’s a great accompaniment to the drum- and riff-led disaster zone that this track represents. “Colder than Ice” is a structural masterpiece. It’s my favourite track of the album. It seems strange to describe it as colourful, so dark is it, but the structure and progression make it that way. It’s utterly epic. One pounding track then follows another. Disbelief don’t do soft stuff.
My only criticism with this was that after the highlight of “Colder than Ice”, the sixth song of the eleven here, Disbelief assaulted us with the same style of heaviness and so I was becoming immune to the quality of this album. But as always, it’s straight down your throat with this band, and there are some great songs with “The Ground Collapses”.
(8/10 Andrew Doherty)