Ion Dissonance – Solace (CD)

Ion Dissonance – Solace / 2005 Abacus / 10 Tracks / http://www.iondissonance.com / http://www.abacusrecordings.com / Reviewed 16 November 2005

While it is hard for me to typically appreciate the style of technical hardcore that bands like Converge play, I feel that Ion Dissonance moves beyond that sound in trying to put the hardest type of music down on disc. Individuals may say that this is just a chaotic mess, that tracks like “Play Dead…And I’ll Play Along” are willy-nilly collections of noise, but I beg to differ. Ion Dissonance have much more in common with bands like Cannibal Corpse and Deicide than Converge and Roses are Red. “O.A.S.D.” will make metal aficionados cream their jeans; it is really in the drums that the band makes the biggest leap during the track.

The production values are nothing special, but do have one solid checkmark going in their favor: with all the machine-gun drumming that goes on during this track, there is not one space where the sound gets muddy. Let’s not sell Jean-Francois short; the work on “Solace” solidifies eir into a position as one of the best current drummers out today. The guitar work laid down on “Cleansed By Silence” by Sebastien and Antoine are nothing to sneeze at, either; the fury and cleanliness of their composition during this track at least put them on the same level as Jean-Francois. It would take a vinyl copy of “Solace” and a multiple-speed record player to fully get Ion Dissonance; the arrangements on the album are so dense and fast that someone would need to slow the album down to half-speed. Tracks are almost never above four minutes, and yet they have the gravity of a classical symphony.

The density previously mentioned has a lot to do with this; individuals keep a buffer of the music in their mind that allows some dissection as the track spins on. Thanks have to go out to the band and Abacus for actually including the lyrics with the CD; however often individuals listen to this style of music, there is virtually no possibility that one can translate everything growled and screamed out by Gabriel. At some point, listeners have to sit back in their chairs and say “damn”. There are no tracks on this album that could conceivably make it into heavy rotation on rock radio, but anyone that gives the album a chance to grow on them will find a beauty in complexity that bands only as talented as Ion Dissonance can create.

Top Tracks: Nil::Solaris, O.A.S.D.

Rating: 8.5/10

[JMcQ]

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