This is the stream that death metal drinks from. Many albums came before this, but to my ears none surpass it. Upon its release, it exceeded death metal, and when I found myself at its banks it exceeded any level of music I thought possible. What boggles me is that such material was written and played by boys, and I say boys because these guys were still primarily teens or in the teenage mindset. Let’s just say this was their way of crossing into adulthood, something which makes the rest of our coming-of-age stories look pathetic. This is and will always be; nothing else in death metal tops it.
Death metal matured to the point when it became perfected on this album: guitar tone, bass coating, growling style, menacing leads, memorable passages, remarkable composition, monolithic scope, and riffs. As much as one sentence can have value, let “riffs” in the last sentence hold the most. The riffs on this album are impeccable, malevolent, and greased with boiling distortion. No riff on this album that I hear falls short of making me headbang, as it hopefully will do for anyone that listens to death metal. These riffs, backed by colossal bass support, are embalmed in the distinctive chainsaw guitar tone. To me, it’s the greatest use of this tone, but not for riffs and tone alone. It’s the fact that these riffs are also supported by such songs that contain depth of leads, twisted atmosphere, and compelling writing. Nothing’s half-assed or timid whatsoever; the aggression here trumps all death metal while maintaining pride and class.
What Dismember presented with Like An Ever Flowing Stream (with boss cover art) is a flawless album that tops any death metal that came before it. For a music genre governed by core instruments, there is no better example of pushing the genre beyond its limitations. With perfection reached, the band surpassed even that to create the most dejected, dynamic death metal album. The production is fantastic, with thickness ripe from the pounding double bass to the bubbling bass booms to the coarse, frenzied riffs. It's a beastly album in nature and classy in execution while remaining doomy without sacrificing the compositional strength.
From Kärki’s demonic growling, through the annihilating drumming of Estby, and onto the forefront with Blomqvist, Sennebäck, Cabeza, and Andersson, this album is the pinnacle of death metal. I can’t praise this album enough, and as a recommendation it holds the same status. The songs on this album are of the elite, with a personal favorite going to “Override Of The Overture”. Like An Ever Flowing Stream is ideal death metal in every way, and its place in death metal is second to none.