Release date: February, 2014
Tracks: 5 (EP)
Country: United States (Ohio)
Rather than discuss elements of the album, I am going to dissect it track-by-track as the EP is relatively short.
At The Edge Of Existence: Designed as a short intro-track. Nice jarring start with the clean guitars – something I’d expect from a strong black metal album. This quickly turns into a very Testament-esque pounding melody that carries the track until its end (and I use the Testament comparison in the most positive sense).
Methuselah: Brutal, technical intro which soon reprises the intro track’s main motif, before turning into a thrash assault that would fit very comfortably on the shelf of thrash’s golden-age 80s material. Overall, the track is a very comfortable blend of old-school balls-to-the-wall thrash with modern guttural vocals – I couldn’t stop banging my head! – and the clean break for the bridge broke the track up nicely.
The Paradox: And so the technical assault continues! Retaining the Phrygian-esque tonality established so far on the album, lead guitars utilize harmonies, rapid tremolos and blinding solos to create a more modern metal atmosphere reminiscent, at times, of acts like Nile and Arch Enemy. Overall, this track is a technical delight with fast, tasty solos that nods more towards modern metal acts than those before it on the EP.
Defying The Omniscient: The intro to this track is like Slayer on steroids – harmonized atonal guitars assaulting you like a brogue-kick to the dick – and the pace doesn’t relent. Even when the band decides to go half-time, you feel the urge to move your head to the tasty grooves established by the drummer’s flawless tom-work. For the break towards the end of the song, I can’t tell if they are choral vocals or a well-programmed synth, but, whatever it may be, they work – I was suitably creeped out in a good way.
The Incessant Alteration: And the EP ends with the title track, arguably the most old-school thrash track on the EP (and this is definitely not meant as a negative comment). Kept at a slower tempo than the others, this track can also be regarded as the most brutal and uses the same synth-vocals as the previous song to great effect. An absolute riff-machine, the track’s combination of guitar pyrotechnics and march-like snare patterns into the bridge gives it an epic feel that nicely rounds off the EP and yet keeps me wanting more.
The vocalist, Tyler, displays not only control but also variation in his singing for the EP. At times he sounds like he would be comfortable in a grinding death-metal band, and then he’ll switch to almost angelic (though not whiney) cleans. Particularly, the pitched yelling in Methuselah was fantastic, being reminiscent of Phil Anselmo in his Great Southern Trendkill heroine days. I could continue trying to describe the flexible vocal work on the EP, but instead I’m going to just say this: listen to it yourself, you won’t regret it.
As I am a big fan of everything 80s thrash, as well as most modern thrash-revivalist music, I thoroughly enjoyed this record. Whether you’re a conservative Slayer fan or a Scandinavian new-wave die-hard, there is something for you on this EP. Not only do Dissevered manage to marry elements from thirty years of musical history, they do so with sharp production and technical wizardry that keeps the listener entranced. I did not mention it too much in a review of any tracks because I could not find any instance where I wasn’t impressed, so here it is – Dan is a fantastic drummer. I am not saying that the rest of the group are under par in comparison, I am rather giving him mention because so many modern drummers stick to the double-kick-blast-into-half-time formula and the drumming for this EP was definitely a breath of fresh air. Like I mentioned before, I could go on and on about how much I enjoyed this EP, but I won’t. Instead, you should listen to it. NOW.
-Matt, April 27th, 2014