Review: Back when underground metal was new, many people involved felt underconfident because, like in early hardcore, the instrumental requirements seemed basic from a distance and thus those who chose underground metal were susceptible to endless mockery from their friends and neighbors who considered them incompetent. While this was partially true, and often was completely wrong and borne of the lack of understanding rock-trained musicians have for classical and ambient and metal, some metal musicians set out to prove it wrong in various ways. One popular way was to get whacky. Disharmonic Orchestra fell into this trap but for the most part, retained the inherent musicality that had carried them through the ashen wasteland of grindcore with artistic integrity intact on their first album, "Expositions Prophylaxe."
The followup tries groaningly hard to be different, and to be unique, and novel, and all of that, and for the most part achieves it, but ten years on those who listen to this album do so because of the excellent melodic songwriting counterpointed by adroit drumming that varies sequential minimal textures for powerful effect, and the rubber-fingered basslines which serpentine wend through relatively complex rhythm tracks. Influences from jazz, prog and post-punk are evident, but are well assimilated, because these individuals seem to enjoy making heavy music. The end result makes for good listening except that the constant attempts to introduce unexpected results creates the opposite of suspension of disbelief, and thus the audience is constantly (and successfully) second-guessing these artists, as they drop in something "different" each time there's an opportunity and in high speed death/grind, those opportunities are plainly evident.
1. Perishing Passion
2. A Mental Sequence
3. Addicted seas with missing Pleasure
4. The return of the living beat
7. Like madness from above
8. Time Frame
9. Mind Seduction
The decision to vary up grindcore with additions of uniqueness causes the bulk of the music to remain in grindcore, and thus limits it to shorter phrases, where clearly this band enjoy and are familiar with lengthier melodic composition. Finally, ill-conceived attempts such as the rap parody (already goofy in 1992, now positively embarrassing) interrupt the chances the listener has to take this music seriously not for its whacky, trendy, obvious form but for its actual writing and what it expresses -- thus the power of these artists is lost in their personal quest to be seen as different, unique, whatever.
Could all have this come from instrumental insecurity? Certainly, as in emo, the attempts by unschooled musicians to seem "deep" and "artistic" often only showcase the limits of their thinking and abilities; few of them compose symphonies from power chords, because most try to embellish their existing music in some novel form that "hides" its sparseness (except to the experienced listener!). Most metal musicians are thinkers first, and take up instruments to express those thoughts, and thus are not as slick as those who take up instruments first and then try to cram enough ideas in their heads to come up with contrived "deep" lyrics (yes, Ani DiFranco and Dave Matthews, that is also transparent). Perhaps all the insecurity did nothing but distract from some of the excellent melodic songwriting on this long-forgotten disc.