Ion Dissonance - Cursed

13 songs
48:40 minutes
***** ****


It must have been Meshuggah who first played thrash metal with such complexity that a new sub-genre forced itself upon those eager to define music with labels. The abrasive ferocity of thrash metal met the cerebral playfulness of mathcore, and with a healthy dose of progressive playing techniques, a new kind of metal was born.

Since then, a lot of bands have followed in these footsteps, with Ion Dissonance from Quebec being one of the most influential ones. Founded in 2002, they have released a slew of albums that had them assaulting their audience with impossibly angular death thrash core that still managed to evade the depths of chaos thanks to their incredible playing skills. Some critics dismissed their third album Minus The Herd from 2007 as not crazy enough, and although I can’t remember the details of that record, the same can definitely not be said about the follow-up Cursed coming after a three year hiatus.

Their songs are mostly short, which doesn’t prevent them from putting countless different ideas into them. This makes it hard to find access to their music at first, because you will be looking in vain for catchy parts, but then that wasn’t intended. The quintet switches between fast breakneck acrobatics and groovier sections that are no less complex. The production is excellent. It’s very clean yet dynamic sound give every instrument its necessary weight, overwhelming the listener with a fierce progressive feast compared to which most other mathy prog wannabes feel pale, to say the least.

There is no denying that Meshuggah seem to be a huge influence, but Ion Dissonance are younger people weaned on metalcore, which allows them to create their own niche of proggy crazyness. Fans of Necrophagist, The Dillinger Escape Plan and fellow French Canadians Neuraxis will definitely have a great time with Cursed. The regular album ends after about forty minutes, the iTunes edition contains the six minute long bonus track Pallor who shows Ion Dissoance from a tamer side, which may be unusual but also a good way to leave their listeners on a more conciliatory tone.

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