Hailing from Germany, Disbelief is a four piece band that has been firmly entrenched in the death metal scene for the past 15 years, spanning 7 albums. Of course, their seventh album is the first one that I have ever heard.
Navigator is an album that is raw, heavy, and surprisingly original. I cannot say that I was expecting what I got from it. The opening down-tuned guitar riffs of the title track almost had me writing it off as just another death metal act without much to offer the genre. I was wrong. Do not mistake that for a glowing endorsement, but it is one worth listening to as Disbelief made a believer out of me with the song variety and intriguing approach to the sounds of death.
The album opens with the title track, "Navigator," a de-tuned death thrasher that is sure to get your head rocking. Now, at first it sounds like a lot of other death metal songs, but do not be discouraged, this is a tight track that may not break any new ground, but does offer hints of what is to come. It is followed by the truly excellent "When Silence is Broken" which delivers a variation on the sound first hinted in the first cut with rhythms that bash their way into your skull where they rattle around for awhile.
Next is "The One" which brings some clean vocals and open strumming, offering further variety to their sound, and cementing this as an album that is becoming much more impressive than I first thought. You see, it pays to listen, even if you aren't impressed at first, there is potential to be surprised and won over by a band. It isn't that they were bad. The first impression was good, but generic.
Navigator just continues building off of those first three tracks, continuing to expand their sound, bringing in a bit of a thrash influence, and just really expanding the boundaries of the standard death metal design. Disbelief mixes up tempos, offers a varied selection of vocal styles, and is much more experimental than I was willing to give them credit for. Though, if you are looking for shredding solos or the like, you would best go elsewhere, this album is all about skull crushing riffs.