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Well-Worth the 4 Year Wait, Followup Delivers - 92%

Watch Your Steppe, April 18th, 2016
Written based on this version: 2016, CD, Independent

Chicago-based progressive metal group Dissona have created what I consider to be an anomaly in modern metal music (and all genres of music for that matter). They have successfully composed an album that not only makes the new reveal worth the wait, but re-captures and even improves upon what made their 2012 self-titled debut such an amazing entrance into the progressive metal scene.

One of the biggest draws of the album is the amount of variety in styles between songs, while still maintaining their signature style (which in itself is becoming more and more apparent with each new song you hear). In one moment, you are surrounded by soothing piano, haunting vocals, acoustic guitar, and even violin, and the next a crushing riff with powerful growls and frantic drums. The strange part is, both methods not only flow into each other smoothly, but also convey their intended emotions in such contrasting but equally powerful ways. Often times when a metal band adds slow parts or songs into their albums, it can draw the listener away from the piece. This album definitely does not have this problem. In fact, for me, Dissona is starting to become known for their masterful combination of ambient and heavy components. Every song on the album strikes the perfect balance of styles, emotions, and tempos that makes a great progressive band stand out from a mediocre one.

The complexity of the writing on the album, much like their debut record, is technically impressive. In every instrument, the musicianship is evident, and you can tell that every member grasps the signature style they have been crafting over the course of their two albums. It truly takes multiple listens (which believe me, you won't mind doing), to take in all the nuances over the course of the album. If Paleopneumatic is any indication of the state of progressive metal in 2016, we are definitely in good shape. I, for one, am ready to wait four more years if Dissona's next work is anywhere near the level of quality they've shown us.

Favorite Tracks: Lysis, Another Sky, Sunderance, The Last Resistance