Genre: Symphonic Death Metal
Location: South Elgin/Bartlett, Illinois
Album Year: 2013
Symphonic death metal is always a pleasure to the ears, with most tracks containing luscious scores of violins and orchestral pieces, operatic female vocals and heavy classical influences. Chicago based band Dissonance In Majesty, formed in 2010, and have just dropped their debut EP, ‘New Disorder’. It’s a concept album based around ‘dystopian allegory’ and the ‘horrors committed in the name of a twisted god.’ The tracks on the album develop on these themes a lot more, with the lyrics focusing around the escape of a priest from seclusion and oppression, and his eventual capture and execution. It is also worth noting that the track titles are all in Latin, adding a nice touch to the theme of religion and persecution.
The album begins with a lush orchestral introduction, setting the atmosphere incredibly well for the rest of the album,
but soon developing into brutal, slamming riffs and demonic vocals which truly sound like they were raised from Hell.
The riffs on New Disorder always seem to be accompanied either by violins, female operatic vocals or scathing melodies
which work really well with the vocals and drum work. The vocals, provided by Tom Fowler and Stacy Teems II, seem to sound very muffled and distant, almost like they were recorded in another room, but the words are still understandable, and both low growls and high screams are well mastered and incredibly powerful. Dissonance In Majesty seem to be massive fans of rising sweep melodies that seem to weave in and out of the very distorted backing riffs, and solos that are hauntingly beautiful that provide a well-needed relief from the skull-crushing riffs and rage-filled vocals. All of the orchestral and operatic pieces and tracks on this album are just wonderful, soaring and sometimes absolutely heavenly – which is a massive contrast to the hellish vocals.
Drum work on this album seems to be quite repetitive, only really following the lead guitars and not providing any outstanding
aspect to the various tracks on the album. A quick drum solo or two would have been a fantastic addition to this concept album. However, there is no doubting the skill of Matt Dalbke, the drummer, as he knocks out some hard-hitting patterns, filled with punchy kicks and a snare that seems to always be very prominent in the mix. There are also some clean vocals on this album, most prominently on the track Capere (Capture). These are done beautifully well, with the male voice being operatic and smooth throughout. I am a massive fan of clean vocals in deathcore and death metal, so hearing this instantly raised my opinion of this band, and this album. The album really grew on me, after listening it through the first time I thought it was pretty good, and it had a solid place in my library, but after listening a couple more times I started to like it a lot more. The unique guitar tone and vocals just seemed to set this band out from the rest. It is also worth noting that the tracks on this album are not mere 3 minute chug sessions, they are 6-15 minute expeditions into the deepest recesses of symphonic metal.
This album is the best symphonic death metal album I have personally listened to, and I have become a massive fan of an orchestra in metal because of this band. They have demonstrated that extreme metal does not all have to be about death, destruction and how brutal a band can get. A very refreshing album to listen to, even with some minor flaws.