Review Summary: Ion Dissonance’s debut album also happens to be their finest.4 of 4 thought this review was well written
When Ion Dissonance first formed in 2001, their primary intention was to create music that was more complex and brutal than ever before. Needless to say, they succeeded at that and more by creating this record that has the potential to shred through sensitive human ears very much like a chainsaw.
The listening experience provided by these madmen is somewhat of a paradox: it is painful yet rewarding, chaotic yet structured. For the inexperienced listener the music may sound confused, maybe even nonsensical but a more experienced listener will always tell you that there does exist a sense of structure and flow in such music (even Sunn O))) has structure, believe me). The rapid transitions, screamed vocals, sadistic lyrics, fragmented narratives and erratic drumming all add to an overall listening experience that will leave you exhausted by the time the album ends.
This may be a little hard to absorb but nothing is really overdone on this record. If you attentively listen to this album, it might not even give you time to breathe but a careful listen will also tell you that every part of heightened intensity differs from the other. Some parts are shredded out in a typical metal style while other parts are more laid back but still heavy. The narrative nature of the album keeps the album flowing in a certain direction even though the members tend to go in circles for a while on the journey. But they certainly manage to create catchy tunes (though they will take time to sink in because of the sheer nature of the music) in those circles and that is an essential part of what keeps the album from mediocrity and monotonousness.
It will take several active listens to grasp this album completely but in the end it will feel very rewarding because once this album is in the head, it will continue driving you crazy and not disappoint. There is nothing inherently flawed in the music but the nature of the genre itself would keep anyone I believe from calling it a classic. Whatever, it is a highly enjoyable and extremely consuming listening experience.