TONY NAIMA AND THE BITTERS
"Dismember"

(Regain)

01. I Saw Them Die
02. Of Fire
03. In Death's Cold Embrace
04. I Saw Them Die
05. Let The Napalms Rain
06. Crime Divine
07. Dreaming In Red
08. Where the Ironcrosses Grow
09. I Saw Them Die

RATING: 5/10

This is one of those ideas tailor-made for the Internet. Swedish songwriter Tony Naima got up at a DISMEMBER CD release party and did some acoustic, poppy versions of the death metal band's best-loved songs, and everyone thought it was a hoot. He got a band together and did arrangements of a few other songs, making these death metal anthems sound like NEW MODEL ARMY raveups or shuffling BECK hits. Hee-larious, right?

Yeah, once. If you're checking this out as a DISMEMBER fan, the chances of you getting your fifteen bucks' worth out of it are pretty much nil. It's a novelty record, plain and simple, and while the songs are clever on their own merits — "In Death's Cold Embrace" and "Crime Divine" in particular taking on a turn-of-the-century street band shuffle that would make FIREWATER proud — would you ever really listen to this more than once?

This is the kind of thing best experienced as a YouTube clip, posted on a few death metal message boards, mocked and then forgotten in the wake of the next grossout video or foreign Pop Idol hopeful singing black metal songs a capella. This isn't a stab at Naima's talents, or his friendship with the DISMEMBER guys, for that matter — just at whoever thought this should be packaged and released, for full price, aimed at the most vulnerable of completists.

In short, if you're in that sliver of the world's population that likes Swedish death metal and, say, klezmer music, and the idea of the two of them melding just tickles you to no end, have at it. Everyone else, be warned that there is absolutely no death metal on this CD — it's DISMEMBER songs re-imagined, which proves a point to someone, somewhere, I guess, but it just ain't that funny. And its staying power is shorter than this paragraph, so keep that in mind before devoting any dollars or hard drive space to the endeavor.

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