Disfear and Doomriders – All Paths Lead To Nothing, There Is Only Death

It’s that time of the week to dig into another offering from my singles collection. Today it’s the good old split single – two bands each offer a song, the vinyl gets pressed and here we are years later looking over the results. Split singles and even albums have been a consistent feature of the metal underground. I was never one to splurge on such things but I’ve wound up with a handful in my collection.

Today it’s a double dip into some very noisy territory – Swedish D-beat merchants Disfear are paired alongside American metal act Doomriders for this 2008/2009 split. Sometimes these split singles get their own “album” names and other times they don’t. In this case the single does have its own title completely separate from the two songs.

This isn’t necessarily an “unlikely” pairing but there is a common thread to tie these bands together – both groups recorded albums in this timeframe at GodCity Studios. GodCity is the brainchild of Kurt Ballou, who plays in Converge and has also produced a great deal of work at the studio. Ballou is also bandmates in Converge with Nate Newton, who is the head of the Doomriders project. (Note – the Disfear song on this release was recorded among themselves and not part of Disfear’s album at GodCity)

A lot of metal band trivia here, and more to come – but in reality there are only two songs to discuss here, so let’s have at it.

Disfear – Fear And Trembling

Disfear is an unsettling proposition, owing its sound to the crust punk and D-beat scene. It’s a very underground affair with English group Discharge as one of its primary pioneers. The music is very, very unsettling, noisy and not for the faint of heart.

Disfear themselves have a long history, though broken up in phases. They were around in the 1990’s but would go on hiatus and reform under a very different line-up in the early 2000’s. Two original members would remain and would be joined by Swedish death metal royalty – Entombed guitarist Ulf Cederlund and At The Gates vocalist Tomas Lindberg helped Disfear into a new millennium.

Our song today is, as far as I can tell, exclusive to this release. It was not featured on their 2008 album Live The Storm and the band haven’t done any further releases so I suppose this single is the only place to get the song. As luck would have it, this split is still in print for anyone who stumbles upon this and just has to have it.

As I’ve said, this music is not for the weak of ear or constitution. It is a noisy mess. Even for the standards of Swedish death metal, Disfear makes those bands sound like orchestra music. Lyrically it is apparently a dissection of Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard’s work of the same name. As lyrics and background info are hard to find for this song, I can’t source that claim, but I saw it in a YouTube comment so it’s probably true. And knowing how Tomas Lindberg likes to source such material, I would feel safe in the assumption.

Again, I’m pretty sure this is something most of my regular readers are not going to be into. This song is a headache in vinyl form. But this is my series of singles and well, here you are.

Doomriders – Crooked Path

Out to something still harsh and noisy but perhaps more conventional, we have New England’s metal/sludge outfit Doomriders. The group is the conception of Nate Newton, who is a member of the aforementioned Converge, as well as Old Man Gloom and presently Cave In.

When I first got this split, which was way back in ’09 when it released stateside, this was the song that pulled me in more. I was familiar with Disfear but not with Doomriders and this was a sound I was pretty well lacking at that time. It is gruff but also groovy and well performed. I was very much into stuff like High On Fire around this time and this was a worthy compliment to that.

Crooked Path did see release on an album – the Doomriders’ 2009 Darkness Comes Alive. This single that I purchased for the involvement of Disfear led me to the Doomriders and it’s been a fond listening relationship since.

That’s about all for this one. The single was packaged in somewhat unique fashion – instead of a slipsheet or cardboard holder, a massive poster is folded into the 7 inch sleeve. I wouldn’t dare unfold it because I’d spend the rest of my life trying to get it back in to the sleeve, but it’s a nice touch for a cheap, out of the way single. (Actually not, it’s really easy to open and put back together as it turns out…) Stay tuned next week for another oddity from my collection of 7 inch single horrors.

7 thoughts on “Disfear and Doomriders – All Paths Lead To Nothing, There Is Only Death

    1. As far as I can tell the split release thing is pretty well confined to the metal and punk underground. I don’t know of any outside of that sphere and it’s not something I’d ever see mainstream labels wanting to do.

      Liked by 1 person

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