One of the great things about forming a band is that you get to devise a band name, however catchy or perplexing you wish. Next, when you cut an album, you also get to create a clever name. So here's Dissona. Maybe catchy. And their second album, Paleopneumatic. Definitely in the weirdness bin for a title.
Dissona plays a form of modern progressive metal, both technical and interesting (using the latter word in the most polite way possible). The members come with backgrounds from jazz to extreme metal, and you hear all of that whirled about in their complex arrangements. Additionally, from the voice of David Dubenic you get range of vocal presentations, from clean to harsh to death vocals. More so to the latter two. The irony here is that, when asked if there were dirty vocals, I was told the exact opposite, all clean. At this point it would be easy to dispense with Dissona and Paleopneumatic. One, I gave up on most of the album and songs because of Dubenic's vocals. Dirty vocals are so annoying. Two, for all their combined skill and creativity in songwriting, most everything here runs the gamut between eclectic to cacophonous. Some songs have a no sense of coherence, like Breach, Totality, or Fire-Bellied, something for your ears to hang on to, like a developing and familiar melody. You know, that tedious and elusive element that makes music, well, music.
But that's perhaps too harsh. With engaged listening you will catch it in the bluster of the prog wonkery that's Another Sky, likely the most compelling and accessible song here. But then there's the four songs that close the album. Anastomosis and Lysis are led by some exquisite piano lines. The Last Resistance turns more on the simple progression of riffage combined with less volatile vocals. Sunderance returns to the piano again for definition, with the song having an overall classical, if not operatic, feel from the synth strings and choral vocals. In this case, Dubenic's vocal presentation shines. So, in the end, I've dismissed half of the album. For all Dissona's skill and Paleopneumatic's ingenuity, I still couldn't get past the inherent verbose technicality and the harsh dirty vocals of some songs. Just not my thing. Paleopneumatic won't be traveling through my speakers again.
For all Dissona's skill and Paleopneumatic's ingenuity, I still couldn't get past the inherent verbose technicality and the harsh dirty vocals of some songs. Just not my thing.
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