DISSOproval Ratings


Another post from me and another stupid pun based on ham-fisting Disso into an actual word. All this means is that my contributions to this site will be limited to my ability to create article titles using my limited and definitely underappreciated humor. So in what is my final post due to lack of creativity, I offer you more tidings of weariness.

Leprous Vortex Sun – Ш​у​м н​е​б​ы​т​и​я (February 29)

If one were to attempt to accurately describe the album art for Belarus’ Leprous Sun Vortex‘s first new material in 8 years, one could easily just push play and they would be instantly informed.  Darkness sprinkled with a blurred envisioning of something almost familiar, but comes across as an experience blurred in an obscured manner. Not dissimilar to last year’s release by Voidescent, Ш​у​м н​е​б​ы​т​и​я focuses on what makes this type of music distinct—ominous fear. It’s not so much a journey one goes on while listening, but an experience more akin to a survival horror campaign where atmosphere is juxtaposed with ataxia-inducing hallucinations.

The vocals here are executed with a viciousness that complements the angular components perfectly as the bass provides the anchor preventing you from being left floating directionless in the auditory waves that beset you. However, it is the guitar work that truly stands out here: not impressive in terms of technical riffing or shredding passages, but closer to an unnerving klaxon alarm warning of the impending danger that is ever around the corner. The 4:00 mark of the second track “Яд Б​о​г​а” is perhaps the best snapshot of what this release offers: a twisting of notes that gives way to the repeated main riff and deranged vocal dynamics before moving through you with a blistering, unforgiving malice.

This is not an album to simply put on while focusing on other tasks as it almost demands your attention. It’s a well-crafted 6-course undertaking that rewards the devout with repeated dives into the murkiness presented. Upon finishing Ш​у​м н​е​б​ы​т​и​я, a sense of fatigue creeps into me due to the dread experienced, and I mean this as high praise. Every year, there exists overstated claims for several releases being early AoTY candidates, but here lies one where the impression left on me cannot be ignored.

Convulsing – perdurance (February 29th)

Where the previous album keeps you at arm’s length by being difficult to penetrate, Convulsing welcomes the listener into a warm embrace. Toilet friend Brendan Sloan surprise dropped perdurance on leap day following a 6 year hiatus (though he has been busy with Altars) to reclaim the title of king of DIY dissodeath. It may seem like an oxymoron to call a dense dissonant death metal release warm, but that is the defining aspect that makes Convulsing a shimmering beacon in the constant darkness that permeates our lives. Pain and disappointment are unavoidable human experiences, but that does not mean one must be consumed by them. Focus instead on the growth that comes from overcoming life’s difficulties and you will begin to harness what is presented on perdurance.

The pain of introspection and isolation are ever-present in the lyrics such as in “inner oceans” where Brendan states:

dull senses, phantom pain
of struggles passes, of lonely deaths
of painful rebirths
floating here abandoned
await the promised storm

Though the words being belted at you may caution of the hurtful contemplation necessary for growth in one’s spirit, there are moments of reprieve with the use of almost uplifting guitar passages such as the one at the 5:50 mark of the same track.  It is these catchy engaging passages of impressive song structure and riff construction that always beckon you back, dropping the harsh truths of reality unto your psyche.

Even the artwork, created by Joshua Christie and Jay White Art, invokes the inner struggle we all face and is fantastically portrayed throughout the album’s run time. Just push play on “shattered temples” and await the riff change at the 4:48 mark and tell me you do not feel anything and I will respectfully go my way, but will judge you harshly under my breath. As stated by Brendan himself, “we are connected. Make your art.”  Your art matters. Your pain matters. You matter.

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