'Of Time And Chronic Disease'
(Blk Coq Musik/Believe Digital)
'Of Time And Chronic Disease', the debut release from Montreal based Metal quintet Dissension is one of the most genre spanning and eclectic albums you are currently likely to hear.
It's a mix of thrash, black and power Metal that aims to attack the darker side of human nature, reaching epic heights and sombre depths. Vocalist/guitarist Nathan Afilalo explains further:
"Having been a band for about six years, 'Of Time And Chronic Disease' is a summation of our music since it contains some of our very earliest songs to some of our latest. The album has to be taken as a whole, as the individual songs all represent a different facet of the whole that is our music. It's like a hydra, the beast can only truly be slain if you remove all of the heads and immerse yourself in the dark pools of its blood."
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The best description of their music that I can give is that the tracks are all clever genre montages. Where other bands change tempo, Dissension change the influencing genre and despite that sounding a dubious mix, it actually works very well. They have made all of the elements sit so well alongside each other and flow seamlessly, combining to give a varied and very interesting listen.
I love the overall sound, the vocals are great, harsh and rasping and with good guitar work throughout, catchy riffs and some excellent thrash and power Metal style solos and when required. The drum work makes its presence felt also.
If I have to be picky, although the keyboard work is very good and at times magnificently atmospheric, there were a couple of places where it seemed a bit too shrill and jangly.
Some of the highlights for me were the opening track, 'Thralls To The Crucified' with its impressive symphonic opener, fast tempo and two memorable solos topped off with blackened lyrics.
'Graceless Death' where the effortless switch between black and thrash to symphonic throughout this track is done with stunning effect. 'Dreamsong Of The Divine' is a rather nice atmospheric, symphonic instrumental that leads neatly into title track 'Of Time And Chronic Disease', a melodic atmospheric piece that breaks out into symphonic thrash midway.
The album is produced by Kevin Jardine of Uplift Productions (Slaves On Dope, What Comes To Life) and mastered by Ryan Morey (Arcade Fire, Priestess, Half Moon Run). This is an album that should appeal to fans of bands such as Children Of Bodom, Dimmu Borgir or Kalimah.
'Of Time And Chronic Disease' is available digitally worldwide from September 10th through Believe Digital and also on vinyl.
I think it is a good album, an enjoyable and exciting listen across the tracks and it held my focus; if you are a genre purist maybe you won't like this but I found it skilfully eclectic, interesting and inventive.