This is Dutch Thrash band Disquiet’s second full length release, and it’s seeing them gain some real accolades since the album’s release at the end of January this year. Disquiet’s debut (Scars of Undying Grief, 2012, Independent) gained the band a Wacken performance and shows with the likes of Arch Enemy and Annihilator.
According to the band’s Facebook page, Disquiet play Melodic Thrash metal, but there’s a healthy dollop of Gothenburg style melodic death thrown into the pot here. Mixing thrash and death is not exactly a brand,spanking new concept, but let’s not get too bogged down in genre owning, the point is that this album has some good variety.
Condemnation opens with Ascending – a very “In Flames” esque riff setting the tone for the album. Stompy, contemporary thrash riffage combines with melodic death lead guitar lines, and this always keeps the songs firmly moving forwards. It’s the variety of the vocals that really keep the songs interesting though- frontman Sean Maia moves from contemporary death metal growls, to far more melodic, nearly-sung lines, but without ever going full blown clean like you might expect were this a Metalcore band.
The other outstanding feature of this competent release is the lead guitar work. There’s plenty of great sounding melodic death leads, and plenty of ripping solos on show here, and the clean guitar really shines through the mix. I like the use of samples for atmosphere too (The great divide for example), although there’s really nothing too original on display, they fit snugly when deployed.
The production quality is on point for contemporary Thrash metal, mega saturated drums and general over compression is par for the Thrash metal course these days, but the guitars and vocals have that professional sheen that stops your brain getting bored like the god-awful Death Magnetic (Metallica’s yawnworthy 2008 outing).
It has to be said, Condemnation is super, Brie/Camembert cheesy at times- the cowbell just before the breakdown on “Born to Dissent” is a little Saturday night live. The lead guitar lines might piss-off your hardcore, skin head, old-school death metal type, but it’s great to hear a thrash/death metal album with a bit more musicality in 2016, if you ask me.
Just a quick note on the artwork- yawn! A (possibly) native American in a fire fight inside a city? Great juxtaposition there chaps, I usually love thrash covers, but not this one, sorry!
If you like your death metal 2 dimensional and brutal, and your Thrash super old school, you might not like this album, but I have a (disquieting) feeling that Disquiet will be popular with a wide metal audience and could be quite the force in the future.