Ion Dissonance
Minus the Herd


2.0
poor

Review

by GleamInRanks USER (16 Reviews)
June 26th, 2007 | 27 replies | 5,197 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Solace: Part 2

After listening to Ion Dissonance's 2005 release, Solace, I found myself overwhelmed with disappointment. Only a couple of Solace's tracks were worth listening to and even those were largely uninspired. The band had made a drastic change for the worse. What happened to the extremely technical fretboard mastery of Ion Dissonance's debut album Breathing is Irrelevant or even the distinct character that the album displayed? All of the appealing aspects of Breathing is Irrelevant were replaced with more generic and elements that are easily found in the current scene. Monotonous breakdowns that sounded exactly like the ones before it were overly abundant and some of the songs even contained hints of basic structures. You would think that the only place to go from there is up, right? Think again.

Minus the Herd does little to redeem the band from their previous album. Since the departure of vocalist Gabriel McCaughry, Ion Dissonance had decided to recruit Kevin McCaughey. This turned out to be a catastrophic mistake as Ion Dissonance had, sadly, taken another step towards being completely mundane with a new vocalist who mainly uses a boring medium range scream. The music on Minus the Herd never strays all that far from the formulas that were present on Solace, but a few attempts at trying to integrate a variance in their sound can be heard. The drumming seems to be the only consistent component of the band. Minus the Herd is nothing more than a lackluster release from Ion Dissonance.

Musically, only three tracks (well one song and certain sections of two songs) on Minus the Herd are worth anyone's precious time. The first of which, "Shunned Redeemer" begins like any typical Ion Dissonance track with the shifts between high pitched notes and incredibly muddy palm mutes. The single impressive passage of "Shunned Redeemer" is a bit experimental for Ion Dissonance. With a spoken word sample being toyed with in the background and a heavy ambience being created, the rest of the band rallies behind slightly progressive sounding guitar work. "Untitled" is without a doubt the best track on the entire album and just happens to be entirely instrumental. Oh, and did I mention that the track is entirely percussive too? Heavy reverb and delay are used on the drumming which is oddly enough, restrained. For some reason, this track worked and Ion Dissonance needs to take a page from it and include more of these types of passages in their music. Much like "Shunned Redeemer", "Untitled" is able build some sort of an atmosphere with the samples and effects that are present. The only downside to the track is the fact that it's less than to minutes long. Lastly, the doomy feel of the guitar playing in "Tarnished Trepidation" is pleasant to see. The concept of the first riff is carried over into the multiple breakdowns throughout the song with the addition of the rare high pitched shriek of Kevin McCaughey.

Most of the tracks on Minus the Herd could effortlessly be interchanged with tracks from Solace, so calling Minus the Herd a musical degression wouldn't really be fitting. The album seems more like a continuation of whatever this band was trying to achieve on Solace. A promising crescendo on "The Surge" is quickly destroyed by some boring, palm muted guitar work. The only track that doesn't abuse the simple concept of a breakdown is "Untitled". I'm hoping that Ion Dissonance just merely forgot to fix the blatant error that plagued Solace. Understanding the guitarists intention in writing seemingly identical riffs and songs is impossible. Listening to the intro of "Void of Conscience",chugging quarter notes any person with a guitar could play, makes me wonder what they were thinking. This is not to say that the majority of the lines and riffs that the band is playing are actually bad, just redundant. The musicianship of Ion Dissonance is superb. Split second pauses and ludicrously complex rhythms are just a taste of what is brought to the table. What can be said is that the music that's written is but a sliver of what this band is capable of, which was already shown on Breathing is Irrelevant

If you couldn't tell already, my level of disdain for this album has been peaked. With their debut album, Breathing is Irrelevant, Ion Dissonance were able to show everybody what a tech-metal classic should sound like. Now, repeating the same mistakes as before, the band show no improvement over their predecessor with Minus the Herd. It feels like they have simply given up trying to write material that breaks boundaries or challenges listeners. Once again, there are passages here and there that show potential but nothing is capitalized on. It certainly is unreasonable to ask for a follow-up that matches Breathing is Irrelevant in terms of technicality but that doesn't mean it's unreasonable to ask for material that matches Breathing is Irrelevant in terms of originality.



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user ratings (167)
Chart.
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
John Henry Pitts, III (2.5)
Ion Dissonance trade exhaustive tech wizardry for moshpit heavy breakdowns. Is it for the better??...


Comments:Add a Comment 
GleamInRanks
June 26th 2007



298 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Comments on the review would be appreciated.

Aficionado
June 26th 2007



1027 Comments


Trust me...they're hard to come by. Now it's your turn to comment on mine...This Message Edited On 06.26.07

Confessed2005
June 26th 2007



3314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

^^^ lol

I have only heard the band's supposedly only decent album. I probably will never get round to checking this out.

gasmaskman
June 26th 2007



1006 Comments


These guys just keep going downhill

GleamInRanks
June 26th 2007



298 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Yeah, it makes me sad. These guys had so much potential.

Pete
June 27th 2007



189 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I might have to write a review of this on my own, because although I wouldn't rate this higher than a 3, I agree with very little of your critizism. I think this album signifies a drastic change in style from both BII and Solace, albeit a style not necessarily as good.

GleamInRanks
June 27th 2007



298 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Listen to "Kneel", then "Cleansed By Silence" from Solace and maybe you'll see what I'm talking about.

bigguy69
June 30th 2007



199 Comments


im listening to these guys basically for the first time and there is no originality in the guitars whatsoever...i'll just say if my grandmother liked hardcore and death metal she wouldnt like this at all

bigguy69
June 30th 2007



199 Comments


i dont know why im giving it a 3.5 that will prbably change over time


Confessed2005
July 4th 2007



3314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I heard Scorn Haven.

Weird time sigs. But no variation at all

LifeInABox
July 4th 2007



3708 Comments


Darn, and I have to sit through these guys on SS

Confessed2005
July 4th 2007



3314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Actually, these guys aren't half bad. I downloaded this.

It's not actually that bad. Just a bit too samey.

GleamInRanks
July 4th 2007



298 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

No, they're pretty bad.

Confessed2005
July 14th 2007



3314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

No, I beg to differ.

It's kind of like a hardcore influenced version of Meshuggah. Nowhere near as good but seriously, not that bad.

Pete
July 24th 2007



189 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I beg too agree on the differing part.

This is by no means a bad album. The only reoccuring critisism that I even remotely agree with is that it can get boring and repetative - but you don't hear anyone saying that about Meshuggah (except, of course, for people who don't like Meshuggah). In fact, where earlier ID was more aki to bands like Red Chord and Despised Icon, this is much more akin to Meshuggahs mechanical relentlessness, how they shape a song around an everchanging yet consistant groove (as opposed to how they earlier shaped songs around not having a shape at all, which I thoroughly enjoyed). This is a HUGE departure from "Breathing Is Irrelevant" and a big leap from "Solace", so of course you're gonna rate it low if the scale you're using is a "How much does this sound like earlier Ion Dissonance"-scale, as opposed to a more nuanced and fair "how good do they succeed with what they're trying to do, and how good does it sound"-scale. Because whether you like "Minus the Herd" or not, you should be able to identify that this is an entirely different genre of music than what the band has previously produced. And growth/evolution/progression like that, whether for the better or for the worse (which unfortunately is the case here, but only slightly) should always be taken into account in a review.

But that's just my two cents.

tyjimma
September 24th 2007



7 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This album is fucking incredible... it perfectly blends groove and choas... No range? have you heard Kevins' high scream on The Surge? its fucking beautiful... I must say Breathing Is Irrelevant had some pretty generic breakdowns... extremely generic... this band has done nothing but grown into an excellent metal band that is breaking the mold and constantly changing with every album... i do believe you are ungrateful... and deaf


Sethcanes
September 26th 2007



45 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Love this album, fucking awesome.

FukuiSan
October 16th 2007



179 Comments


I'm glad to hear people think this is their lesser album. I got it and like it a lot, excited to hear their older and apparently better stuff.

Metalikane
November 1st 2007



851 Comments


This is okay, but I really only gave this a 3 because I kinda like The Surge and mostly because I think Scorn Haven is pretty fucking sic.

DWittisarockstar
November 26th 2007



1501 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is good music to hardcore dance to.



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