Sunday, August 18, 2013

Dissension-Of Time And Chronic Disease


There's a fair bit of history behind Montreal, Quebec's Dissension. From 2007-2011 the band was known as Set To Kill and it was during this time that they ended up releasing a 2008 demo called "Dawn of Despair". Back then gothic metal was combined with black metal and death metal to create the key sound of Set To Kill, but with the name change came an apparent change in direction as well. Now we find that the group, which started going by the name of Dissension in 2011 and never looked back, is going for a more blackened form of power/thrash metal. Mind you it's more on the European power metal side of things, what with it's heavy use of keyboards, but the band does adapt some US power metal for inclusion here and there. That description (at least the blackened power metal part) might very well have you asking "Hey, that means they must sound an awful lot like Children Of Bodom right?". Well, to a point yes that's fair enough. Black metal and power metal merged together is Children Of Bodom's calling card so this band's combination of black metal and power metal/thrash might not seem to be all that unique. They (Children Of Bodom) popularized that sort of style and any band that comes on the scene now playing that sort of hybrid metal will inevitably draw comparisons to Children Of Bodom (from here on out refereed to as C.O.B). Then again, this 5-piece does switch things up and, in their own way, they end up sounding a bit more thrash-inspired then a band with keyboards might initially suggest. That's thrash along the lines of Kreater and, a bit more subtly perhaps, Coroner. Plus, when it comes to flashy keyboard power metal, these guys pack a bit more punch  (and not to mention mojo!) then C.O.B does as we'll soon enough see. Prior to this full-length album the band released a 3-track, self-titled EP. That was back in September of 2011. Here it is 2013 and now the group looks to build upon all of their various experiences since the name change and (somewhat) change in musical direction. To that end we find a group that has shared the stage with some well-known acts which has no doubt helped to boast their confidence and likely, at least on a subconscious level, fueled their creativity. I have little doubt that Dissension has sharpened their sound since the name change in 2011 and sharing the stage with the likes of  Slaves on Dope, Disturbed, Godsmack, Suicide Silence, Machine Head, In Flames, Unearth, Death Angel, and Trivium has only helped this Canadian act out. The new album was 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) with the end result being a more then solid full-length undertaking. What really sticks out about the guys in Dissension is how well their songs are constructed. They prove that they are more then capable of writing metal tunes that stick around in your head even after you've walked away from this album. And it's not just Children Of Bodom fans that might appreciate this album as there are reminders of bands as diverse as Protest the Hero and Slayer! There's also some hints of Death behind the scenes and Amon Amarth, Dimmu Borg and At the Gates come out of the woodwork for a play-date. Interestingly enough this Canadian band also reminds me of Ohio's The Approach and The Execution. Weird. Anyway, as for the musicians behind "Of Time And Chronic Disease"? Well, Nathan Afilalo handles rhythm guitar and lead vocals and quite honestly I find his vocal delivery to be more to my liking then those of C.O.B.'s Alexi Laiho (Alexi's voice sounds like nails on the chalkboard to me!) as his gruff style leans more towards the thrash metal side of things. Additional lead guitar comes from Matteo Conti, whose solos are rather sweet all around, while Anthony Pulcini handles the drum kit like a pro. Keyboards on the album were done by Andrew Proppe (who also played guitar in Venomenon) while bass was played by Oli Aveline (who has since been replaced by Giancarlo Cininni). Overall this group of musicians has issued a cool album that sets the stage for Dissension to become much more well-known and appreciated. Another album or two like this and Dissension might just end up being a household name and a "must-catch live" kind of band!

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