DISSOllusioned Offerings


Okay, this might actually be the last time I write an article with a stupid pun using disso. I realized the folly of my titles quite quickly, but three posts in feels too far in to simply give up now. I sincerely apologize for submitting  you, dear reader, to my imaginative shortcomings. Repentance shall be given in the form of more dissonant tidings. Offerings such as these can be perceived as present or punishment, but I leave the distinction up to you.

Kvadrat – The Horrible Dissonance of Oblivion (April 4)

An album entitled The Horrible Dissonance of Oblivion released on Total Dissonance Worship almost feels like cheating. How much easier could they make it to know what is encased in this dark gift without actually opening it? I first came to know Greece’s Kvadrat from their debut EP from 2021 entitled Ψυχική Αποσύνθεση, which caught me by surprise at how well composed everything felt for an underground one-man dissonant blackened death metal project. Three years later and we are now given a full release with fleshed out ideas that are designed to resonate in your consciousness. Quick side note: you may rightfully feel some level of trepidation in checking out a one-man, European black metal project (always a gamble in sketchiness), but here we given a succinct “Nazi Scum Fuck Off” as the band’s description in Bandcamp.

If Ulcerate had a more straightforward approach to their craft, they would definitely sound something like Kvadrat, where punishing blast beats and off-putting guitar trickery are accompanied by moments of near groove-tinged sections. Like at the 1:30 mark of the track “-4°C” where a mind-melting atonal riff is replaced with an almost catchy counterpoint. This is followed by a more haunting and doomier switch to bring you back down at 2:39. The Horrible Dissonance of Oblivion is packed full of stylistic changes throughout its whole runtime, never allowing you to become settled into a singular idea or mindset for too long. Dissonant riff after dissonant riff are thrown at you and with each relisten, I become more and more enthralled.

Replicant – Infinite Mortality (April 12)

Oh yeah, you probably could have easily guessed that this one was coming. I was not cool enough to delve into these New Jersey weirdo-death metallers’ previous offerings, but after hearing their newest monstrosity, Infinite Mortality, I am ready to right that wrong. This albums drips with filth and attitude while it delivers its sonic package with a level of dribbling rage that is tailor-made for those seeking refuge from run-of-the-mill death metal. Constant twisting riffs accompany magnificent drumming that never allows you to sit comfortably. However, the putrid vocalized puke/barks from Mike Gonçalves really help this release rise above the competition with its unique delivery and punky attitude.

How do I pick out a section from this album to highlight when the entirety of the runtime is stuffed full with memorable and head turning moments? Seriously, choose any song and play it starting anywhere, and you will most likely be greeted with a welcome truth—this shit is bananas (thank you Gwen Stefani for the spelling assistance). However, my selection for a quick listen comes from the inimitable “Reciprocal Abandonment”.  The chugging riff at 2:54 that is accompanied by the howling shrieks will require a safety helmet to prevent a TBI. This riff is repeated at the 3:57 mark, but with a slower feel bringing the entire idea together in a horrifying punctuation of execution. This album feels like the most intelligent dumb listen I have experienced in quite a while, or perhaps it is the opposite. If you are looking for a worthy successor to the likes of Gorguts and Demilich, look no further weary listener, you have found it.

Maere – …And The Universe Keeps Silent (April 19)

Transcending Obscurity treats us simpletons once again this month with another standout release, this time from a debuting German act that drips with confidence and ability. If you prefer your dissonant releases to be a bit muddier and experimental, then you are in good luck, toilet dweller, as …And The Universe Keeps Quiet welcomes harrasses you with its beautifully strange soundscapes. Sounding like a perfect pairing between Gorgutsand Morbid Angel, this group does not shy away from tempos shifts and time signature tomfoolery, but never strays too far into fart-sniffing territory. Almost hypnotic in parts, this feels like an experience that is simultaneously chill and harsh, which is helped with the use of spoken word recordings such as Robert Oppenheimer’s “Now I Am Become Death, Destroyer of Worlds” at the end of the opening track.

Only 5 tracks in length, this is one that zips by in a brief 37 minutes, which is perfectly suited for material that definitely requires multiple playthroughs to comprehend. The third track, entitled “The Darkness is Your Mother” [leave me mama alone! 🙁 ~Roldy] shifts from its opening angular attacks only to change into a slowed down and bare section utilizing double bass alone without other instruments at the 3:36 mark. The guitars and bass come in periodically to reinforce the darkness spreading. A soft snare roll is introduced with the return of the vocals that feels something akin to marching to your own demise. If you think you know what to expect, you will be sorely mistaken almost every step of the way.

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