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Dissident Saint: The Rise
Progressive Metal
Rating: 4.0/5.0

Note: Dissident Saint is no more; they are now known as Driftglass.

I love checking my mailbox everyday because I find great music delivered to my home. Canada's Dissident Saint is a fine example of a great young band with a boatload of talent and a ton of creativity. Their music is best characterized as melodic progressive metal. They include as inspiration the likes of Pink Floyd, Yes, Dream Theater, Megadeth, Judas Priest, Queensryche, Iron Maiden, among others. They have respectable peers including such Canadian bands as Warmachine and Gates Of Winter (see my review of Gates Of Winter's new release here). 'The Rise,' Dissident Saint's first full length release, was entirely self financed and produced. And to buck current music industry trends, they are offering this work on a 'pay what you wish' basis (much like the latest release by Radiohead) on their website (see note below). That takes a lot of guts and determination for a young band. 'The Rise' is a worthy accomplishment for a debut work.

When I gave 'The Rise' its first spin in my CD player, the very first thing I noticed was the clarity in the production. Admittedly, however, it seemed that the band was trying just a bit to hard to get every element perfect. The playing seems almost rigid, nearly unemotional, as if they were trying to be severely accurate in performing their compositions. Nevertheless, their skill and creativity abounds with wonderful brightness. 'Choking Hazard' proves this and defies the former description. The second element that grabbed me was the work of keyboard player Andrei Zaretski; his contribution is magnificent, full of vitality and atmosphere. This is apparent on such tracks as 'Lost Cause' and 'Tainted Hand.' Additionally, the work of Sergey Perunov is particularly interesting: his rich baritone to tenor vocal stylings move from somber to shear exuberance as found on 'Choking Hazard' or 'Sirens Of The Night.' Some might find it difficult to enjoy his voice, but I found it refreshingly surprising. Those were my first and lasting impressions of 'The Rise.' Yet, since I've mentioned several band members already, I should not forget the talent of guitarists Ilya Maximenko and Gera Kisselman. They're contributions are significant and inspiring.

So I mentioned several songs in the previous paragraph, what was I impressed with? Definitely, 'Choking Hazard' and 'Tainted Hand.' But the best music comes at the end. 'Re-creation' is definitive progressive metal; there's enough tricks and changes here to impress. And the final cut, 'The Architect' is extremely impressive. Consider the bass line at the beginning and then continue into this musical adventure. This is a speculator piece of music. Every member excels, and despite my earlier misgivings, their emotion is profound.

Dissident Saint has certainly brought forward an arresting work of melodic progressive metal. For sure, it's new and untested. But they should be rewarded for their effort, especially in terms of creativity and determination. I believe Dissident Saint could have a bright future if they hold together and, possibly, receive some direction from an established producer. This is not to say that they have not excelled on their own merits. They have! This is exciting music and worthy of your attention. Very recommended!

Footnote: Note: Dissident Saint is no more; they are now known as Driftglass.

In Short

Dissident Saint is a young and impressive Canadian progressive metal band. 'The Rise' is a singular accomplishment: totally self-financed and self-produced. There is an immense amout of creativity and promise here.

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