It is May of 1993 in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY.
I am two months shy of turning 20, and I'm playing bass for my old band, Confusion. We were around from 1990—1994, and we started out as a NYHC band, and ended up as a death metal meets hardcore hybrid. We were far too ahead of our time. It is also at this time I am attending Kingsborough Community College, where I have my own radio show called Sunday Psychosis, going by the name Mike Scotto, as Mike Scondotto didn't exactly roll off the tongue... or at least in my opinion it didn't. Anyway, on my show I play all things hardcore, punk and metal and I get, literally, tons of free CDs from every label under the sun at that glorious time—the early '90s.
Well, not so glorious for my first love, hardcore—which by 1993 was in a sad state of affairs in NYC, but that is another article in itself for another time. Although I became a hardcore maniac in 1988, in 1990 I discovered my next obsession—death metal. I always liked music that was hard, fast and intense, and for me, death metal and hardcore were certainly kindred spirits. So around this time Confusion is about to play a show at the infamous metal club, L'Amour, also in Brooklyn, opening for none other than Deicide, who I was already a mega-fan of. I had seen them for the first time in 1992, but started listening to them in 1990, along with Obituary, Death, Morbid Angel, Carcass and Entombed. I find out that along with Deicide are two bands touring with them that I was familiar with: Poland's Vader and Sweden's Dismember.
I was not too into Vader at all, and I still am not, but Dismember went on to be one of my all time favorite death metal bands—period. At this point Dismember only had their debut album, Like An Ever Flowing Stream, and the MCD, Pieces, out. I owned Pieces at this point and loved it, but for whatever reason, I did not get their heralded debut, Like An Ever Flowing Stream, until later on. Well, the show was awesome, but I really only got to meet and hang out with the Deicide guys, who were actually very cool. I remember Vader put on a great show, but I also remember being floored by Dismember live. It was one of many great shows Confusion had opening for death metal bands at L'Amour.
So, fast forward to the fall of 1993 when one day in the mail comes Dismember's second full length, Indecent and Obscene, via Nuclear Blast America—which at that time was being promoted and manufactured by Relapse Records. I am looking at the awesome cover as I type it—it is a wide open chest cavity with the band's logo in the middle of the open and bleeding chest!
Sure, everyone rages about Like An Ever Flowing Stream, but in my opinion, Indecent and Obscene is a far better record.
The opening track, "Fleshless," fuck! At the 1:23 mark—you are killing everyone in the room!
A vibe, an atmosphere—Indecent and Obscene has both of these in huge order. It just simply and perfectly is a great death metal record. Skinfather—a new death metal band from California—took this song title as their name recently, why? Because this song is amazing, that's why! On to one of my faves "Sorrowfilled"—a death 'n' roll riff that kicks off the track that is catchy as all hell. You see, Dismember had their flirtations with death 'n' roll just as Entombed did, only Dismember didn't jump off the damn cliff with it. Dismember stayed far truer to death metal and in the end gets more respect in many circles for it. Anyway, this record has no filler whatsoever, and closes with what is possibly the best Dismember song ever written, "Dreaming In Red." That song stops me in my tracks and gives me the chills every time.
So here I am, almost 25 years of death metal listening under my belt and I still get excited listening to Indecent and Obscene. I own every single Dismember CD, both of their DVD home videos, and I am three shy of owning every release on vinyl. Although they broke up in 2011, I am hopeful for a reunion one day. But, I am glad I got to play with them once, and then see them live years later as well.