Review Summary: One of the best grind albums ever released
Yeah, disagree with me all you like, but “The Inalienable Dreamless” is, in my opinion, possibly the greatest work the highly distinguished and often controversial Grindcore genre has ever seen. Trust me; I’ve listened to the greats. “Scum” by Napalm Death does its job well, I do like a fair bit of Pig Destroyer and sometimes on a rainy day I do break out “World Downfall” by Terrorizer to help lighten the mood a fair bit but this album…this is album is just in its own league of achievement. Emotion has never been displayed in such a raw and uncompromising way. It’s absolutely moving to hear a band play so well. Don’t get me wrong, I used to hate this album. After my initial listen, I discarded it back from whence it came, immediately dismissing it as obnoxiously bad and musically unintelligent. I then criticized all who liked it, telling them things like “you listen to that garbage” and “what the hell is wrong with you man”. Eventually those attacks directed towards others precipitously became directed back at me; “what the hell is wrong with me”, I would say to myself. The answer to my question was found within this breakneck affair; It told me that I was a ***ing idiot for dismissing this as trash. This album is a testament to why you should always listen to things more than once and fully digest material instead of just giving it a label after the “maiden voyage”. Enter “the Inalienable Dreamless” by none other than Discordance Axis.
First off, the members couldn’t have chosen a better album cover. The beauty displayed by the blue skies on the cover shows a perfect use of ambivalence due the music contained within being as relentlessly brutal as it is. This conflicting aesthetic between the cover and the music makes the material all the more surprising; past the cover, the listener is thrown out of the blue, if you will, into 25 minutes of caustic, technically proficient music.
Also, what hasn’t been said about Jon Chang as a vocalist; the man is the voice of grind if you ask me. His terrifying screeches and his low snarls will take a listener, break them in like a baseball mitt or better yet a teenage girl and make a bitch out of them. Anybody who admits to not being scared ***less after hearing Chang’s high end scream for the first time is a straight up fibber. The high end is at its highest and most inhuman in track 8, “Pattern Blue”(The only direct comparison I can make within the genre is “P.S. I Love You” by Me And Him Call It Us, though this is much higher and unsettling). Chang’s got the single most overbearing scream known to mankind and it fits perfectly with the sonic monolith of “The Inalienable Dreamless”. In songs like “Drowned” and “Vaccum Sleeve”, a listener can hear Jon Chang spewing bile at its utmost intensity. Normally, most people would sell this off as artistically bland but when Chang is screaming in your ears, know that the pain induced from said rage-inspired vocalizations is definitely artistically inclined pain.
Now, most average grind acts either have good vocals and a ***ty backing band, or a great backing band and ***ty vocals. This is certainly not the case with Discordance Axis. In addition to Jon Chang’s straight-from-the-fiery-depths-of-hell delivery, the band proves that they are in fact fit for the job, to say the least. Front to back, the instrumental section of DA, consisting of “axeman” Rob Marton and Dave Witte playing the role of “Ringo” on this album, communally withers away the flesh and bone of the listener through the course of 23 minutes. Don’t worry though, as you’ll certainly be left a satisfied skeleton afterwards. Witte not only blasts with jaw dropping pace (As mentioned before, “The Inalienable Dreamless” is 23 minutes long) but also blasts with some taste, something most kit players in extreme music lack, and though he isn’t necessarily the greatest, he certainly does his job exceptionally well. He even slows down a bit in songs like “A Leaden Stride to Nowhere”, losing some of the astonishing speed but not slacking in the brutality department at all. Guitar man Rob Marton brings a lot of different elements to the table for this release, making DA a commodity in their respective genre. His instrumental ability is just astonishing to say the least. On “Jigsaw”, Marton fully utilizes his skill in the form of a frantic, yet technically proficient riff using (gasp) jazz chords! Yeah, this album has its fair share of jazz influences and though they’re not entirely prevalent or obvious they’re definitely there giving this album an unusually noticeable depth beyond the blasting and the screaming.
Moving on, if one needed more proof to argue in favor of “The Inalienable Dreamless” being one of the best grind albums of all time, just look at its defining moment; “The Necropolitan”. Track 7 off of this vigorously vehement affair is possibly the best moment said genre has to offer; exploding out of the gate somewhat like the sledding scene out of National Lampoon’s “Christmas Vacation” starring Chevy Chase, this song is ridiculous. Marton plays his earth shaking, warning siren of a riff over Dave Witte’s constantly shifting, yet precisely spastic offering on the skins all the while Jon Chang does what Jon Chang should do and that is scream his lungs out as if Lucifer himself were climbing into his body via his anus. Yeah, that’s a bit unsettling but that’s the beauty of it. Also, just when you thought the riffs couldn’t get better, the sounds of impending doom are heard around the 41 second mark. The song ends with a blood curdling howl from the master. “The Necropolitan” is pure grind gold.
In conclusion, “The Inalienable Dreamless” deserves all of the praise it gets, etc. etc. Jon Chang and co. set the bar at a height much too high for their contemporaries as this in my opinion is the single greatest sonic endeavor fans of grind will ever come across. It’s recommended that you listen to the LP in its entirety; despite its highly inaccessible form, it clocks in at 23 minutes long, making this an incredibly easy listen for such a verily uncompromising album. Through a track listing ubiquitous with paroxysm and utter brutality, “The Inalienable Dreamless” is sure to “strike a discord” with you (no pun intended). Get this album now and test your limits.