If you are ever undecided which genre to grace your day with then veering over to the debut album from Canadian metallers Dissension could very well solve your indecision. Combining a core of thrash, black, and power metal with numerous other flavoursome essences from multiple metal bred aspects into a coherent and fluid rapacious adventure, the band is a striking proposition with a debut album in the shape of the thrilling storm Of Time And Chronic Disease which simply exhilarates and captivates. Certainly the release needs time to lay out its ultimately irresistible persuasion and imaginative narrative but the effort is rewarded with a thoroughly invigorating and scintillating fury of inventive rabidity and deeply satisfying enterprise.
Formed in 2007 as Set to Kill with a different sound to what evolved and rampages through the ear on their first album, the Montreal quintet of vocalist guitarist Nathan Afilalo, guitarist Matteo Conti, keyboardist Andrew Proppe, drummer Anthony Pulcini, and bassist Oli Aveline (since left to be replaced by Giancarlo Cininni), took little time waking up appetites and attention locally and beyond. Shows with the likes of Tyr, Threat Signal, and Cryptopsy and an appearance on the prestigious Heavy MTL stage in 2011 all enhanced and accelerated their brewing stature but you can only suspect that Of Time And Chronic Disease will lead Dissension to a loftier height of awareness and recognition worldwide such its impressive encounter.
Produced by Kevin Jardine of Uplift Productions, (Slaves on Dope, What Comes To Life, One) and mastered by Ryan Morey (Arcade Fire, Priestess, Half Moon Run), the album immediately tells you what it is all about with opener Thralls To The Crucified. The track opens with a sturdy thrash inspired regimented attack of riffs and rhythms, their restrained but firm stance opening up the senses for the evocative keys which lay a suggestive wash over the growing hunger. Opening into a scenic melodic and sonic landscape crafted by the excellent invention of guitars and keys, the vocals of Afilalo caustically growls and squalls over the enticing venture adding to the intimidation stalking the track through the bass of Aveline and the predatory beats of Pulcini. Never seemingly staying in one gait and certainly one style for longer than is needed to get the sonic point across, the track is a riveting expanse of ingenuity subsequently echoed across the whole album.
The following Graceless Death is a venomous charge of blackened metal with symphonic winds smouldering in the background whilst their frequent louder whispers make a fuller seduction from time to time. With an intensive twisted groove and a flight of predacious riffing the song steals the breath, soothes the violation, and steals it once again across its inventively startling length. As becomes apparent in all the songs, it is impossible to take everything in the first, second, arguably even the third and fourth listen but that just makes each confrontation a giving and ever evolving pleasure.
The likes of Blacksteel with its less demanding heavy metal breath, though the track soon menaces and threatens with muscular intensity and ravenous creativity, the magnetic merger of light and dark suasion Set To Kill, and the finely crafted Legacy continue the enthralling start. The last of the three opens with an elegant melodic descript before unleashing flames of technically expressive and compelling shadow drenched emprise, the track another which seamlessly bringing light and dark, melodies and savage intrusion into an absorbing and continually evolving provocative triumph.
Immense and enthralling from the start Of Time And Chronic Disease reaches another plateau with its title track, the first single from the album. From a potent and rich atmospheric soundscape impressively carved by riffs, drums, and bass, and coloured by as now expected precise and imaginative melodic hues from keys and guitars, the track slowly unveils its sinister serpentine like bestial intent, the vocals a dangerous portent against the excellent discord tainted piano. The track like the imagination is soon at the mercy of the malevolence at the heart of the song though once more the track is a thrilling scenic passage through the darkest corners alongside the brightest sonic torches.
Dissention and Apotheosis bring the album to a stimulating intensive close, both like all before exploring the darkest depths of human nature and its accompanying shadows. As mentioned the layers and creative depths of the songs and album are only really discovered over numerous engagements thus making it impossible to truly portray all that the album contains in written word but that the rewards are rich and plenty is all you really need to know. Of Time And Chronic Disease is an outstanding debut and declaration of an emerging force in Dissension which you sense could be inspiring many future bands as the likes of Children of Bodom, Dimmu Borgir, Darkthrone, Sepultura, Kalmah, Nile, and Amon Amarth inspired them.
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