How many of you are familiar with Disarmonia Mundi? Not too many, or so I would assume. For those of you who don't know, Disarmonia Mundi is an Italian Gothenburg style metal band based in Turin, Italy. Formed around1999/2000, the project has seen several members come and many members go, but despite this normally discouraging aspect, they've remained a focused band, releasing three albums since 2002. Though by no means cutting edge, this Gothenburg-esque band still makes for an enjoyable listen. If there was ever something notable about Disarmonia Mundi, it would be the featuring of Soilwork vocalist, Bjorn "Speed" Stride. Yes, perhaps not the greatest vocalist in the genre, Bjorn brings his upbeat combination of clean and harsh vocals to the band, and effectively increases the likeableness of the band's music. In June 2006, Disarmonia Mundi released their third album, Mind Tricks.
The first thing that comes to mind when listening to Mind Tricks is that it sounds a lot like Soilwork. A whole lot like Soilwork. This could partly be the case because of Bjorn's vocal efforts, but the music is quite similar as well. Let it be known that Mind Tricks is not a very heavy album. But what Disarmonia Mundi's third album lacks in heaviness it makes up for with interesting melodies and guitar driven riffs. The song Resurrection Code, one of my favourite songs off the album, is a high energy track that perhaps best exemplifies the album's sound. The guitars and keyboards, both played by Ettore Rigotti, combine to form a very memorable sound, a sound that knows no limits in technicality, emotion, or melody. Quite frankly, it isn't the most original material, but it's still quite fun to listen to. Songs like Nihilistic Overdrive and Celestial Furnace are other extremely solid songs which should impress listeners, and are among the album's top tracks. The Gothenburg themed metal that the Italian (and Stride) band plays is quite infectious, though nothing really new.
The musicianship on Mind Tricks is quite good. Not exactly mind blowing, but still impressive. Like I said, the guitar and keyboard playing of Ettore is quite effective, creating an aggressive, yet grave atmosphere. But the band member who stands out the most is none other than Soilwork vocalist Bjorn Stride. And of his performances, his works during the album's various choruses is perhaps the most enjoyable, at least for me. Though at times his clean vocals may sound whiny, I feel he does a very good job conveying the moods of the music, and he definitely helps mould the band's sound. The chorus of Resurrection Code fits the song extremely well and is most definitely the catchiest part of the album. Like the opener, many of Mind Tricks' choruses are of the sing-a-long variety. Whether this is a good thing or not rests in the opinion of the listener, but those who enjoy it will enjoy it a lot.
If I had any complaints, it would be that the material is not as strong as it could be. The album can get fairly inconsistent, especially as it draws to a close. Songs like Venom Leech and the Hands of Rain, Process of Annihilation, and Mouth for War (yes, this is a Pantera cover) do not quite keep up the momentum that the highlights create. Another aspect which I do not quite enjoy is that of Claudio Ravinale. Whereas Bjorn varies between clean and harsh vocal efforts, Claudio merely screams. And it's quite clear that he cannot keep up with Stride. His antics can get quite irritating, especially as the album carries on into its latter stages. Lucky he that Bjorn around to make up for this rather annoying setback.
Disarmonia Mundi has had a fairly uneventful career so far. They haven't been able to find suitable musicians to play live with (since Ettore can't do everything), so the young Italians have more or less kept to the studio. But in this studio they've managed to piece together three albums. Their latest, 2006's Mind Tricks, is a fine effort from the melodic metallers, and if you're into powerful, driving riffs; melodic keyboards; a mix of harsh and clean vocals, Mind Tricks is for you. Being a fan of Soilwork also helps, as the album sounds extremely similar to something that they would make. Admittedly, this wouldn't be the first album from this genre that I'd recommend, but its still worth checking out. Just don't expect too much.
A Taste of Collapse