Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Disarmonia Mundi - The Isolation Game

It's very rare that I find a modern band that I would describe as purely metal. Disarmonia Mundi, however, is one such band. This melodic death metal supergroup has released four albums to date. The last two of which actually sparked my attention. Their two early albums, Nebularium and Fragments of D-Generation, felt like something was missing. Upon listening to their third album, Mind Tricks, I found that missing component, Bjorn "Speed" Strid. Strid is better known as the singer from Soilwork, one of my favorite bands. He provided extra power and swagger to the vocals which were lacking from Disarmonia Mundi's previous endeavors.
The bands newest album, The Isolation Game, continues with this powerful, unique style of heavy metal that Mind Tricks was full of. The first song "Cypher Drone," hooks attention with a guitar part that feels like it has a freight train behind it and synthesized effects to add extra texture and to set it apart from most death metal. Also, because there are four singers on this album the vocal parts are especially powerful and dynamic, switching between styles rather often. Much of the album has these same traits.
The next song, "Structural Wound," is a very dynamic song. It follows the usual melodic death formula of alternating harsh false vocals with clean vocals. Where this song differs is the use of two different harsh voices, one high pitched and raspy against one low and guttural, countering each other through the verse. There are even some clean aggressive vocals, much like those of the thrash bands of the 80's, adding a little extra feeling to the song.
The title track sounds especially like a Soilwork song with the drum beat rolling almost like a rap song and the guitars having the feeling of spinning. That is not to say that this sounds anything remotely like a rap song. It is still straight up metal.
The album has an odd breakdown in the form of "Glimmer." It is a soft instrumental centering around a rather peaceful guitar part. This accentuated by a faint drum part and melancholic synthesizer effects. I love hearing a hard and heavy band like this showing a soft side. This doesn't at all detract from the album but rather emphasizes the harder parts.
After such a soft and sedate song the next song, "Ties that Bind," explodes with a loud and aggressive opening that doesn't exactly fade as the song goes on. One thing worth noting about this song is the use of darker, gloomier growls that are often hard to find in death metal.
The album ends with another breakdown, "Beneath a Colder Sun." This breakdown, unlike the other sounds nothing like death metal and more like doom metal, or even a dark rock song. It is short and simple but does a great job of capping off this great album.
Overall this album may get a little repetitive since most of the songs sound just like the others, but it is worth a listen. The style, I think, would appeal to a wide range of modern metal fans and certainly appeals to me. I give this album 4/5.

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