Ion Dissonance Solace

Definitely still occupying the same genre-space as their Breathing Is Irrelevant debut, this second album from Quebec’s technical metalcore/death metal wiz-kids Ion Dissonance is set to blow minds. It’s not as difficult to find a groove as last time, as songs such as "Lecturing Raskolnikov (or how to properly stab an old widow)” and "She’s Strychnine” prove; but those same songs also show the band’s penchant for time signatures that no sane human should be able to wrap their heads around, and beats that sound like a drunk and belligerent Meshuggah staggering home at four in the morning, wine bottle in one hand, gun in the other. Vocalist Gabriel McCaughry is a highlight, with many different sounds coming out of his voice, all of which sound shockingly sincere. The excellent drumming almost steals the show (the great guitar work rules too), and doesn’t stay locked in a groove for more than two seconds or so, even during the groove-laden moments of relative downtime. At 41 minutes, the chaos gets a bit incomprehensible and it becomes apparent that even with more of a focus on song, Ion Dissonance have no choice but to be one of the kings of technical music today.

Did you make a conscious effort to tone down the chaos a little bit this time? McCaughry: What we tried to do with Solace was to work more on the live aspects of the songs. We worked on developing our own style. So, yeah, we toned down the chaos a bit, but to focus more on the song’s structure and feel. Our initial goal never was to do chaotic music; we aimed at being a proficient technical band with various time changing structures and a lot of grooves. The idea is simply to write good songs; we don’t really care about being the most chaotic band out there.

The name of the album is interesting for music that sounds like this; do you find solace in this music? Of course. Music is a catharsis. For us, getting this frustration out, to let this insane violence take control, really serves in finding solace — the strange calm after the storm. As the name suggests, I usually write my lyrics during harsh depressive moments that I cherish, instead of despising them. I think I truly find comfort in sorrow and solitude. If you carve deep enough, you too will find solace. (Abacus)