Ion Dissonance / Despised Icon Demos 2002 & 2004

The prospect of having two of Quebec’s greatest extreme bands together on one split EP is pretty promising. Sure enough, this release is a gem. Cool packaging and artistic sensibilities only help to entice the extreme metal fan to checking this one out. Don’t let that title fool you — while these may be demo recordings, they sound just as solid and pro as the albums the bands were working towards when they recorded these songs. And hey, considering that on the strength of this material Ion Dissonance ended up with Abacus/Century Media, and Despised Icon one of Century Media’s more buzzed bands, this is some pretty strong stuff. As always, Ion Dissonance’s three songs show the band’s technical hardcore and metal in fine form. Although they throw in a groove here or there, it’s still a frustrating listen for those looking for a song. But if it’s technical madness you seek, these guys rule. Despised Icon prove here once and for all that they just rule. In the space of two songs, they throw down heavy death metal groove, hardcore heaviness, tech-metal insanity, and still manage to do it with a soul, and a beat. A great EP, but be warned that all of this material ended up re-recorded on proper releases by the bands. (Galy)