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 Disillusion: Back to Times of Splendor

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Gwonam
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PostSubject: Disillusion: Back to Times of Splendor   Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:52 pm

"Merely hours passed that I had left him to his mountains, his colossal idols - one for every spear in me. Slopes so steep, I could not conquer in a lifetime. Now they're all but ruins. Ruins I left behind."



As if from nowhere, Disillusion, a melodic death metal band turned prog from Germany, shot in and out of the scene in less than 5 years, making incredible music before vanishing with very little trace other than live performances since 2006. In 2004, they crafted what would be revered by many listeners of the genre known as Back to Times of Splendor, a record that, for lack of better words, doesn't fuck around with trying to enamor you with time signatures or needless instrumental fiddling. It is a concept album that weaves nostalgia out of itself, baring down on its namesake with an energy never seen before or since.

Plenty of Opeth comparisons get flung around in the wake of this album, and while it may be a decent association to have at the time having been at their apex, Disillusion avoid being too superfluous in what may seem like musical fusion. Andy Schmidt experimented with this method of songwriting on his EPs to varied success. When the opening track ...and the Mirror Cracked lets its first dissonant riff out, journeying to the delicate ballad in between all the way to the bitter end of the track which repeats its horrified chorus, I left trying to compare them to other groups behind at the risk of pretension.

Disillusion aren't afraid to get dirty with their music, but the contrast between their cinematic songwriting with the more aggressive tracks make them a very hard band to pin down. The delivery of these two Jekyll and Hyde styles flows together quite well, knowing precisely when to bridge into one another. This symbiosis is furthered by the many varied styles in which Schmidt decides to utilize his vocals: sung, spoken, shouted or the tour de force death metal growl. Each type of vocalization emphasizes the desperation of this album, building a synergy I haven't heard crawl out of the genre since Ne Obliviscaris' Portal of I.

Song lengths can be daunting with two that surpass 14 minutes on the record, following the trend that prog metal bands do. These songs don't overstay their welcome and offer enough dynamic, much along with the rest of the record, to keep any seasoned metal listener interested. If you're interested in heartfelt music in the way of chaotic death metal, then this is a record you can't pass up.

5/5, spins at least once a month and proudly stands on the pantheon of well-executed metal.

Since the album is only 6 songs, I'll post a couple links for whichever degree of interest you may prefer.



Download it here.

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PostSubject: Re: Disillusion: Back to Times of Splendor   Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:09 pm

great review. I like what I am hearing so far. I understand the Opeth comparison, but so far I wouldn't normally feel the need to compare the two. These guys seem to have more "energy" (not trying to discredit Opeth in anyway though) if that makes any sense. These guys are def more into the symphonic thing too.

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PostSubject: Re: Disillusion: Back to Times of Splendor   Wed Jun 05, 2013 5:00 pm

Opeth deserve a lot of credit for popularizing the style, I'll be more than happy to admit. If it weren't for them, I'm not too sure how many other bands would be trying to emulate their success. The issue with Disillusion is that I believe they came to that conclusion without the Opeth influence, yet still manage to come somewhere close to their record writing.

What deeply saddens me about the band is how quickly they evaporated since their 2006 record. It was great in every fashion but merely because it wasn't a successor to this album in any way (they opted for a more electronic, glitch/jazz metal affair on this next one), it didn't receive the acclaim that this one did. Poor guys - it was really way ahead of its time.

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