Ion Dissonance
Solace


2.5
average

Review

by GleamInRanks USER (16 Reviews)
May 21st, 2007 | 25 replies | 8,844 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Ion Dissonance craft a predictable and formulaic album that is suffering from a case of the borings.

3 of 4 thought this review was well written

Releasing a debut album surely is a difficult task but releasing a debut album that is described as "classic" must be a bitch. With the release of a genre shattering, genre defining, or genre expanding debut album, a band is faced with a bit of a burden. From that glorious moment, a bands future albums will seem to wither next to their monolithic predecessor. Future albums have no chance to be as good or better as they are lurking in the shadows of the classic debut. Failure is inevitable. What to do in a situation like that. Well, some bands change their sound completely until no remnants of their past sound can be detected. Famous for doing so is Cave In. Releasing a classic "metallic hardcore" album among their fans, Until Your Heart Stops, the only logical thing to do next is to put out an excellent, bona fide space-rock album, right? Metalcore giants Poison the Well gradually got rid of the breakdowns and formed into a more experimental metal/hardcore. For the tech-metal definers, The Dillinger Escape Plan, the obvious choice is to take their current sound and add more structure, structure not seen on their debut Calculating Infinity but still keeping the extreme technicality intact.

Ion Dissonance's debut album Breathing is Irrelevant is usually considered a classic tech-metal/grind album by those who have heard it. That acclaim was highly deserved. Breathing is Irrelevant is without a doubt one of the most punishing albums that have graced my ears. Every single aspect of that album is incredibly intricate. Chaos was around ever blast-beat filled corner, as was flawlessly arranged guitar lines, most of which I couldn't even dream of being able to play, let alone figure out. I was awe-struck by what Ion Dissonance presented on their debut. How every band member was so precise while playing intensely complex music was amazing to say the least. So does Ion Dissonance fall into my classic debut theory, broken only by few bands? I am very sad to inform you that Solace, Ion Dissonance's sophomore release is nowhere relatively close to the vastly greater Breathing is Irrelevant. Most of the tracks on Solace feel like simplified and watered-down versions of songs found on Breathing is Irrelevant. Some songs even tred into the territory of bland and boring breakdowns found in the behemoth known as metalcore. Also, many songs sound so similar that it becomes a chore to tell them apart. As disappointing as Solace may be, some songs can be enjoyable, even for fans of Ion Dissonance's debut.

First, the good. Ironically, two of the three (maybe four) tracks that are worth listening to fall right at the beginning of this bore-fest. From the starting gate, the backbreaking speed and technical ability Ion Dissonance are known for is unleashed. I only wonder why the entire album isn't like 'Play Dead... And I'll Play Along'. The guitar that opens the song resembles playing that was established on Breathing is Irrelevant. False hope is given though. What plagues this song is the presence of a generic breakdown. Not bad by any stretch of the imagination, the breakdown just feels out of place and is included just to take up time, or for the song to be more accessible. Ion Dissonance are capable of a lot more, they just refuse to show it for some reason or another. Helplessly manic screams introduce 'O.A.S.D.' where the drumming and guitar playing is top notch. The drummer has some of the quickest feet I have ever heard, and the blast-beats, as you could imagine, are just as impressive. The drums are the instrument that listeners should pay the most attention to. 'Shut Up, I'm Trying to Worry' at first seems like a typically song Ion Dissonance would produce but then morphs into a mid-tempo, groove oriented section. The guitar plays some dissonant (sorry) arpeggio from hell while the bass and drums set up a bouncy (oh my) rhythm behind it. Interesting parts such as this make me realize that a band such as this could have broken the mold, but only show mere fractions of what they are capable of. Depressing, isn't it?

Now for the many faults Solace presents. With group of highly skilled of musicians certainly there would be some type of yearning to become more skillful, more evolved or hell, even just to try something new. Here, the band only makes a couple attempts to differ from past works or from current trends. Many of the songs here contain breakdowns but only a couple of them are intriguing and explore new territories. The bulk end up being very out of place. Not to mention that breakdowns in general are becoming tiresome and generic. Aren't these just boring to play anyway. The only possible explanation I have found for the excess of hideous breakdowns in this album is for the music Ion Dissonance plays to become more genre friendly and accessible to the everyday metalcore fanatic. Enough is said, moving on to the more important issues at hand.

Through the varying degrees of structure each song has, I was able to identify a rough outline for almost every track. The predictability that is found on Solace was more than underwhelming. Part of what made Breathing is Irrelevant so mind-blowing was the way that you could never guess what monstrosity was about to be presented to you. While this album is still erratic compared to metal you can hear on the radio today, I felt like the close-to-random aspect of the music was disposed of. 'Cleansed By Silence' relies primarily on the transitions from harsh, piercing chords to low tuned palm mutes that sound way to muddy for their own good. The song never makes the slightest effort to add different elements to the mundane formula. 'She's Strychnine' and 'Signature' follow ever so closely the the tired blueprint presented in 'Cleansed By Silence'. One of the few places where this album deliver something I never thought Ion Dissonance would even attempt is the last track. It is odd for any Ion Dissonance song to be any ,longer than four and a half minutes. 'A Prelude Of Things Worse To Come' ends at around eleven minutes. Being the slowest track this band has written, complications arise. The doomy atmosphere of the track is a nice shift for Solace but the track is too drawn out for the monotonous droning to have a positive effect.

The general rank of Solace can be set at "immensely disappointing". The reason why this album deserved said rank is too clear. A comparison to Ion Dissonance's debut album, Breathing is Irrelevant reveal the weaknesses that haunt Solace. For one, most of the foreseeable nature of this album destroys almost entirely the on-edge feel that is what Ion Dissonance nearly perfected on their debut. Also, regurgitated formulas of harsh, high pitched tones and murky palm mutes will never sound as convincing as new idea that could have been placed throughout Solace. The side effect that the formulaic approach creates is tracks that can sound identical at times. Only a few notable tracks stand out from this heap of uninspired songs.



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user ratings (125)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
John Henry Pitts, III (4)
A short, but positive, rebuttal to an underrated sophomore release....

kwallace7 (4)
While not completely original, Ion Dissonance provide a substantially chaotic album....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Tyler
Emeritus
May 21st 2007



7928 Comments


Outstanding review but I can't really stand these guys for some reason. I heard their latest puts this to shame in regards to suck.

Jom
Staff Reviewer
May 21st 2007



2634 Comments


Great job, dude. I don't know if you're wondering about your status on the site or anything, but there are a couple benchmarks you have to hit before I can bump you up... so, just keep plugging away and for sure keep up the typically-solid reviewing and you'll be up there. If you're not worried about status, I commend you, but some people get really finicky about shi[font=verdana]t[/font] like that, so I wanted to pass it along as a pre-emptive strike sort of deal.
Great work, though, as usual.

Monticello
May 21st 2007



805 Comments


Awesome review. I've been meaning to check these guys out for a while. Guess I won't be looking for this album then....

GleamInRanks
May 21st 2007



298 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Monticello, you should check out Breathing is Irrelevant, its total chaos to say the very least.

Thanks for the comments!This Message Edited On 05.21.07

cbmartinez
May 21st 2007



2525 Comments


One of the few tech metal bands I like. Siqqqqq.

GleamInRanks
May 21st 2007



298 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Is there a difference between grind and grindcore or is grind just the short version of grindcore?

Tyler
Emeritus
May 21st 2007



7928 Comments


Grindcore has more hardcore in it

GleamInRanks
May 22nd 2007



298 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

I just heard their new song on myspace and it's god awful. I feel ashamed of myself for pausing 'Mordecai' to do so. :upset:This Message Edited On 05.22.07

iamrockzorz
May 22nd 2007



1029 Comments


Cocaine, in the sense of breakdowns?

For example....

Would one label as follows:

Pig Destroyer - Grind
Daughters (canada songs) - Grindcore
?


iamrockzorz
May 22nd 2007



1029 Comments


Their new stuff is horrible. Their first cd was amazing (compared to others within the genre) and this just doesn't keep my attention that much. Their newest stuff completely lacks imo.

Tyler
Emeritus
May 22nd 2007



7928 Comments


Breakdowns don't necessarily have much to do with hardcore. I'd post on the forums for clarification, I actually have almost no idea what i'm talking about with Grind(core?).

Confessed2005
May 30th 2007



3314 Comments


I like this brand of tech metal and grindcore.

Ion Dissonance are quite a good band but I haven't heard anything from this album.

GleamInRanks
May 30th 2007



298 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

This album basically makes the 'good' become a 'used to be good'.

badsocks
December 29th 2007



3 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i enjoyed this album a lot. but that is just my personal preference. I love the spastic nature of this one - and their previous release too.

hybridstigmata
July 19th 2008



169 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is their best cd by far. The new one has some good tunes on it but the new singer sucks big ones.

Anthracks
September 9th 2008



3670 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

God I hate breakdowns.

TrojanWhore
December 13th 2008



752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I actually really enjoyed this, aside from the borefest of a final track.

PhantomMTFR
December 29th 2008



6 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

to me this album is just trying to be breathing is irrelevant pt. 2, but the vocalist isn't anywhere as good as the last one.

example: "OASD" to "Substantial Guilt vs. The Irony of Enjoying" lyrically.

shawreck
August 16th 2009



33 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

shawreck

TheEnigmaticForm
May 24th 2010



21 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

One of the best mathcore album ever produce. Solace: shocking, disturbing and violent. Enough for me.



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