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Look to Erase This Dissonance from My Memory - 94%

bayern, March 10th, 2017

If we take the Slovakian death metal scene as a standalone phenomenon on the metal arena, but not as an appendage to the Czech one, then we will come up with just a handful of outfits. Still, the mid-90’s proved relatively fruitful for the small country which quickly produced the proverbial Big Four (Mordum, Apoplexy, Erytrosy, Dissonance), not all of these outfits extinct now, mind you, like the latter who rose from the ashes unheralded with a brand-new opus (“The Intricacies of Nothingness”) in 2014; and Mordum who freshly released their comeback effort “And What is the Truth?”.

Dissonance began their career in the distant 1990 as Notorica when they combined thrash with the up-and-coming death metal for a string of four demos released within the span of a bit more than a year. They were singing in their mother tongue at the beginning before switching to English on the “Uncomprehensibility” demo which also marked the start of the Dissonance era with all the four tracks from it finding their place on the album reviewed here.

Death metal has installed itself as the driving engine behind the guys’ exploits which becomes very clear the moment “Right to Submit” is “shot” in the aether, a super-twisted shredder weaving some of the most serpentine mazes this side of Martyr and Theory in Practice, factually predating the feats of these two legends. The music constantly shifts from one time-signature to another the guaranteed headshake relieved by a marginally more orthodox headbanging passage ala early Gorguts, and a breath-taking melodic lead section. A technical death metal maniac’s dream is coming true here, and we’ve only been through one song. Comes “Invisible”, another fabulous technicaller which piles an amazing riff after amazing riff in such quick succession that the listener may give up following all the twists and turns provided; the staple more linear faster-paced section is served superseded by a weird acoustic cut which takes quite a bit of space. The magnificence gets quickly restored thanks to “Mankind” which prefers the speedier ways of expression the guys moshing with style from the get-go in the spirit of Death’s “Human”, leaving the more complex rifforamas for the middle.

“Candid Condolence” has a slower beginning again recalling the aforementioned Death magnum opus, but the riff-patterns gradually become more elaborate and faster until they reach the culmination in the second half with melody and technicality coming together in a most exuberant fashion only for this music marvel to subside into the more pensive passage from the start. “Feelingless” “sheds some tears” initially on the acoustic balladic inauguration, the band content enough to shred in a more subdued mid-pace, an all-instrumental elegy of the atmospheric variety occupying quite a bit of space (6-min). “Possessed by Desire” is “possessed” by incessant technical shredding the guys eager to compensate for the previous overlong piece of serenity with the craziest, fastest sections on the album, and with a mesmerizing melodic display of virtuosity mid-way. “Insane Reality” has a pretty “sane” beginning, as a matter of fact, the band increasing both the velocity and the intricacy bit by bit until the latter reaches a fever pitch creating the most labyrinthine passages here with a touch of Nomicon-like surrealism. “The Limited Space” finds “plenty of space” for an imposing operatic intro before the guys start “cooking” the most dizzying riff-salads around with abrupt stop-and-go techniques applied that would make Atheist and Necrophagist proud.

Dissonance as a musical tool is nowhere to be detected, but there are so many other elements one can concentrate on that in the long run he/she would be grateful that the band haven’t expanded upon those already served ingredients. Within a bit over 30-min the band have thrown so much at the listener that the latter may be relieved after all that this opus doesn’t last longer. Coming with superb production on top of everything else, this masterpiece ranks up there with the best from the aforementioned acts being a part of an invaluable group of technical death metal gems released in the mid-90’s, alongside Violent Dirge’s “Elapse”, Agretator’s “Delusions”, Chirurgia’s “The Last Door”, the other Slovaks Erytrosy’s “Incomplete Minds”, Succubus’ “Destiny”… Like the latter, the band never managed to produce an immediate follow-up thus filling another slot from the one-album-wonder department…

They got themselves out of there three years ago when they returned after nearly twenty years with “The Intricacies of Nothingness”, an eclectic jumpy affair with a more modern, more mechanical sound and quite a few nods to jazz and funk; an unnerving listening experience which doesn’t quite match the greatness witnessed on the album reviewed here, also seeing the guys moving towards more clinical, more parsimonious execution. There’s no overabundance of riff-formulas and melodies anymore, everything is meticulously calculated with no musical extravagance to spare, probably coordinated with the literary source behind it, two poems of the famous British occultist Aleister Crowley. I guess the veterans wanted to give themselves another chance to lead the movement in their homeland which in the new millennium has expanded with talented bands like Disloyal, Craniotomy, Diftery, Surgical Dissection, etc.

The band put their two albums together in a compilation released earlier this year for the audience to have a basis for comparison, and also to be able to get a hold of the mythical debut which was a very rare, hard to find item. I guess there may be a few fans out there who may prefer the more sterile delivery of the sophomore opus… However, those who were lucky enough to get exposed to the first coming back in those days, will have the hardest time in their lives to forget it.