Ion Dissonance - Cursed
Century Media
Grindcore/Deathcore with Brutal Death influences
12 songs (42:18)
Release year: 2010
Ion Dissonance, Century Media
Reviewed by Khelek

I have been listening to Ion Dissonance for some time now and have been quite impressed with their output over the past seven years. Their previous record, Minus The Herd saw a very noticeable style change with the departure or former vocalist Gabriel McCaughry. While still a great album, I had been a bigger fan of the band's more chaotic brand of grindcore/mathcore than this groovier brutal death style. With the release of Cursed I hoped to hear some maturation of this groovier direction and fortunately I was not disappointed. This is a band that still knows how to create heavy, unpredictable music that sounds great.

The first/title track is really just some heavy, ominous riffs to let you know that this is not going to be a happy skip through the park, but it's just pointing out the obvious. You People Are Messed Up begins with quick, dissonant stop-and-go guitar with the growls of frontman Kevin McCaughey. It's more instrumental than I'm used to and catches me by surprise a bit, though I do like it because it brings in some of the chaos from their earlier work while still staying pretty catchy. This Is The Last Time I Repeat Myself is a furious conglomeration of chaotic riffs, blasting drums, and the usual pissed-off screams and growls. The song does slow down from time to time, letting you catch your breath before assaulting you once more. The songs continue in this manner with quick, heavy riffs, and drums that remind me of machine gun fire blasting holes through your speakers. This album definitely sounds a bit faster than Minus The Herd; there are a lot of quick tempo songs, though usually at some point there is some sort of breakdown or interlude so you can catch your breath for a second, especially in longer tracks. Can Someone Please Explain This To Me is one of the heaviest and catchiest songs on the album, making it quite memorable and one I kept coming back to. There is some impressive technical guitar work as well, and the more organic, flowing leads create a great contrast to the more mechanized sounding riffs. Longer tracks are interspersed between the 2 to 3 minutes ones that are more pure grindcore influenced by groovy death metal. However, the last few tracks on the album are all quite lengthy. This Is Considered Mere Formality has some great riffs, including the longer, repetitious passage in the middle. While it could get monotonous, the song remains interesting for the most part, I think because the sound itself is quite unique, but the overall structure is catchy and familiar. I also have to mention that the iTunes bonus track Pallor really surprised me. Over an epic six minutes, this is by far the slowest and most atmospheric the band has ever gotten. I won’t give the surprise away completely, but I will say that there is actually some good clean singing (gasp!). So if you want to hear something really different from them, check Pallor out if you can.

If you want some aggressive, chaotic, and just plain pissed-off music, this will probably give you your fix. The album really never lets up in its intensity, subjecting you to a constant barrage of blasting drums and dissonant, jackhammer riffs. For me it is a difficult album to listen to all the way through at over 42 minutes, but this is often the case for me in this genre. The music stays chaotic and unpredictable for the most part, though sometimes the slower parts can get monotonous because the riffs begin to sound the same, and the longer tracks in particular can get old fast despite the technical guitar work. Nevertheless this is a great and very listenable album, and one that deserves attention from anyone who enjoys fast-paced grindcore/deathcore with a heavy dose of technicality and violence.

Killing Songs :
This Is The Last Time I Repeat Myself, Can Someone Please Explain This To Me?, This Is Considered Mere Formality
Khelek quoted 84 / 100
Other albums by Ion Dissonance that we have reviewed:
Ion Dissonance - Minus The Herd reviewed by Khelek and quoted 82 / 100
Ion Dissonance - Solace reviewed by Khelek and quoted 83 / 100
Ion Dissonance - Breathing Is Irrelevant reviewed by Khelek and quoted 79 / 100
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There are 6 replies to this review. Last one on Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:23 pm
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