Dispirit
Separation


3.5
great

Review

by zaruyache USER (23 Reviews)
September 22nd, 2015 | 40 replies


Release Date: 06/05/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Dispirit's latest demo serves as a reminder not only of what the band is, but what they could rightly become in time.

Dispirit is the current outlet for legendary US metal figure John Gossard, most known for his work in the black metal band Weakling about fifteen years ago. While his most famous project has been defunct for years, Gossard and crew, in a way, continue Weakling’s legacy with their own brand of doom-and-reverb-laden darkness. But outside of sharing one key songwriter the two bands have virtually little in common; where Weakling’s music was fairly clean and clear (for black metal), Dispirit’s is as raw as black metal gets, using plenty of reverb (natural and synthetic, by my estimation) and low-quality recording techniques to create a suffocating, blurring cacophony of blackened doom metal.

And the sound on Disirit’s third demo is pretty bad. It sounds like the band recorded a jam session in a basement with a tape recorder placed clear on the other end of the room. Given that all of their demos include this same lo-fi recording style (and were recorded live, probably all at Oboroten), I’m pretty sure by now that this has absolutely been their intention from the start. But, while listening to their newest demo, Separation, one might begin to feel a slight pang of aggravation because, while the the two lengthy tracks here are excellent examples of the super raw, suffocating blackened mayhem that all “kvlt” fans should adore, it begins to become fairly obvious that these types of tracks could sound absolutely wonderful if recorded more properly with a less purposefully crude setup.

At this point, I think it’s mostly this insistence on the super crude sound that holds Dispirit back; while cultivating a reverb-filled, suffocating, and absolutely evil atmosphere on everything they’ve done so far, Dispirit’s potential feels never fully realized because of the crudeness of their recordings. Sure, the “reverb bouncing off the walls that almost makes me feel claustrophobic” effect their music has makes it seem powerful, mysterious, and a little bit off-putting, but the shroud of fog their music always comes wrapped in also has the effect of covering up some of the finer parts of their writing. While both Dispirit and Weakling make/made heavy use of melodic guitar leads overtop blackened riffs, Dispirit’s seem to often end up either blurred into or on top of the rhythm sections during their more cacophonous moments, either taking away a potential melodic edge to the music or robbing the rhythm section of some of its intended fury. And that really goes for the rest of the music as well--whether it be during the eleven-minute post-rock-esque doom build-up in “Funeral Frost” or the all-out blasting of “Odylic Void,” every element of the band’s sound tends to get blurred together to the point where particular details end up lost or barely audible. For fans of super lo-fi raw “kvlt” black metal this may very well serve as a selling point rather than a turnoff, but for fans of Gossard’s previous work the lack of clarity marks a clear flaw in the band’s presentation.

And that’s what makes demos like this so aggravating to listen to; you can feel how good this would be if it were actually part of a “proper” full-length and not just another demo tape--if the atmosphere and clarity between instruments were touched up and perfected just that little extra bit through less crude recording setups, whatever those might be. Dispirit may never have intended their material to compete with Dead As Dreams, but demos like Separation make the listener feel like maybe, just maybe, the band could give Gossard’s previous work a run for its money if they were ever to get something proper down on tape.

Despite the quality of the recording, though, Separation is still a fairly enjoyable raw atmospheric black metal/doom demo that fans of the lo-fi style should definitely find more than a little enthralling; it’s suffocating, it’s evil, and Gossard’s echo-y screech-howl vocals are some of the most interestingly atmospheric (and terrifying) I’ve heard in the genre in quite some time. The raw atmosphere captured here is so palpable it almost automatically conjures images of a band almost completely obscured by fog as they play in some barely-lit cave deep in the bowels of the earth.

I suppose Dispirit’s rawness creates an interesting divide in their potential appeal; on the one hand, those looking for raw cacophonies of swirling darkness should end up more than a little satisfied, while on the other those looking for the true successor to Dead As Dreams may be a little peeved by the band’s perceived wasting of their potential greatness. Whatever your poison, though, Separation is still serves as an excellent example of raw atmospheric black metal, whether or not it lives up to one's expectations of a “true” Weakling successor. And, given the band’s repeated joking of a proper full-length seeing release in the next 5-10 years, I suppose “Weakling-lite” will for now just have to suffice for all of us.



Recent reviews by this author
Wiegedood De Doden Hebben Het Goed IIIHope Drone Cloak of Ash
Pale PaleGhost Bath Starmourner
Unru Als Tier ist der Mensch NichtsSix Feet Under Torment
user ratings (9)
Chart.
3.6
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
zaruyache
September 21st 2015


20664 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I did a thing. I was initially going to give this a 3/5 (making my ranting about their rawness a tad more fitting), but while finishing this today I started to appreciate the real ugliness here just a little bit more, and bumped it up to a 3.5. I guess that's what I get for listening to the same album about four times in a row at a high volume.



Now if only these jerkwads would put out a full-length!

Balerion
September 21st 2015


1033 Comments


Damn need to check this immediately. Great review. Band totally needs a full length

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
September 21st 2015


11682 Comments


Great review man, this sounds cool.

Balerion
September 22nd 2015


1033 Comments


As much as I love Dispirit I wonder if a slightly cleaner production would benefit

zaruyache
September 22nd 2015


20664 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

If they did it similar to the way they did Weakling, hells ya man. I think underneath all the chaos this probably has a bit of similarity to Weakling albeit presented in a completely different way that would make it appropriate for a proper recording. I think it's fine as it is, but part of me wants it to be cleaner just to see what if.

Balerion
September 22nd 2015


1033 Comments


Exactly how I feel. I'm also hyped as fuck for new Ash Borer. I hope they make an announcement this year. For some reason they remind me a lot of Dispirit

zaruyache
September 22nd 2015


20664 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Their demo(s) and first album I can understand that comparion. If they put one out next year I hope they go back to their rawer sound and ditch that clean junk they did on Cold ov Ages bc the s/t is one of my most favorite things ever.

Wizard
September 23rd 2015


20209 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think it’s mostly this insistence on the super crude sound that holds Dispirit back; while cultivating a reverb-filled, suffocating, and absolutely evil atmosphere on everything they’ve done so far, Dispirit’s potential feels never fully realized because of the crudeness of their recordings.



I can see why most people would think this way however it makes for a great repeated listen because everything tends to boil to the surface slowly with more reward given as time goes on.





zaruyache
September 23rd 2015


20664 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Mostly like there are some parts where the lead(?) guitar gets really loud in the mix compared to other parts for no reason and it's kind of annoying. It's all guiet and mysterious and then BAM loud for this one section like... what? It's not a huge issue but it's just a really obvious one.

Wizard
September 23rd 2015


20209 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I love getting lost in this though...



Whatever, I could listen to bm/ doom like this all day.



The review is tight buddy!

zaruyache
September 23rd 2015


20664 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

If there's any more bm in the noisy vein of this do feel free to share. I put Fell Voices as a rec bc they're also loud and I dig them. So anything like that.

Atari
Staff Reviewer
October 9th 2015


24531 Comments


SOUNDS PRETTY RAW

nice review man

Digging: The Tallest Man on Earth - I Love You. It's a Fever Dream.

Essence
October 9th 2015


6266 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

commenting to remember this exists

StarlessCore
October 9th 2015


5958 Comments


weakling is significantly superior

Essence
October 9th 2015


6266 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

not a difficult thing to be true

zaruyache
October 9th 2015


20664 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

water is wet / weakling is gossard's best

zaruyache
October 12th 2015


20664 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

MUDKIP DID YOU JAM THIS YET?

Essence
October 13th 2015


6266 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

NO I'M SORRY



ER I MEAN



MUDKIPMUDKIPMUDKIPMUDKIPMUDKIPMUDKIPMUDKIPMUDKIPMUDKIPMUDKIPMUDKIPMUDKIPMUDKIPMUDKIP

zaruyache
October 13th 2015


20664 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

ur killin me kid

Essence
October 13th 2015


6266 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

okay i'm listening now, it's pretty good



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy