Sound — 5
As most would know, I'm not the biggest supporter of -core music. I've been trying to break this dislike by delving into the more experimental side of things. Lo and behold, I found Ion Dissonance, a band filled with such mind numbing robotics that I don't know if they're taking the piss.
After their previous albums were either highly praised or less than warmly received, 'Cursed' lives in a grey puddle in the middle. TO describe the sound bluntly, it's Meshuggah with the mindset of SikTh and Aborted. It's easy to see where all these influences come from: Meshuggah's accountancy skills in math rhythms (not riffs) and cold, calculative mood, SikThs sporadic riff style is heard and so is the switch between very fast and very slow while it maintains (dare I say it in fear of being castrated by myself) THE BRUTALITY of Aborted.
Yes, a nice idea. But after listening to this album twice I have more of a headache than when I listened to the last Brain Drill album. Instead of mashing your brain with blast beats, Ion Dissonance prefer to fall back on the trusty beating stick of the breakdown... well, I'd hardly call them that, more like random bursts of slowness, although 'This is the last time I repeat myself' is 30 seconds of speed then the rest is F string mutilating chuggawuggachugga. I should also mention they're a band who uses 8 string guitars, not that that's anything new these days.
Of course, they're not bad musicians. The drummer is unremarkable apart from the fact he sounds like most deathcore/death metal drummers which really in itself is a plus point. The guitarists play incredibly unimaginative riffs which although aren't all Meshuggah based, are mostly just some low F string hammering and what I call 'the deathchord' which I've heard every deathcore band use in every breakdown I've heard by them. The bassist is also unremarkable but he does what he's meant to do which in this case... isn't much. Production wise, these guys must have studied ObZen for a month to try and copy the exact tone and feeling that it contains. Well, they succeeded: Even the vocalist tries his hardest to emulate Jens Kidman's vocal style. Although I kind of like this idea as a whole... sound wise, it becomes too much of a loud mess for the ears and is based off shameless copycatting. Dissonant indeed.
Lyrics — 3
And the landslide downward continues. One major factor that puts me off deathcore is the vocals and lyrics. Although it's expected of punk rooted bands to have simplistic and meaningful lyrics, deathcore just wants to smash up someone's table because they're 'sick of all the lies'. Ion Dissonance sadly falls into this mundane routine like a bullet into a firing chamber. Vocals, as mentioned, aren't very different from Jens Kidman. Apart from that, there's the odd scream added in for ''3xtra br00tals''. Apparently in the song 'This is the last time I repeat myself' there's a guest vocalist from Despised Icon, but if he's in the song at all he barely makes an impact through all the mechanical noise. Oh and there's also some clean vocals in the bonus track 'Pallor'. They're actually okay... and so is the song, if the rest of the album was like it then I would be praising it instead of giving it the Stamp of Disapproval.
Lyrically, it's your usual fair of ''I hate everyone and one this one specific person is hated the most''. Just look at the hilariously titled song names to get a real idea. While obviously humorous, it does little to strengthen their credibility as a serious band.
Overall Impression — 5
I could start by naming every deathcore band in existence currently and who ever shall exist but even then, there's not enough JCB truck noise in the world to match the sheer wall of cold death that Cursed pumps into ears.
As an idea, yes, I like the band and the album and I think the name 'Ion Dissonance' is quite imaginative. But as an album and a band in reality, they've already gone into the realms of mindless and senseless noise which isn't memorable at all in any way.
I'll admit I was impressed by 'You People Are Messed Up' because, although not technically proficient, it had a good disjointed feel and sounded like a more death-ed up version of Meshuggah which is only adding more to a good band already. But every other track is a blend of the same and it just becomes noisier and noisier and less easy to listen to with only some riffs ever being noteworthy or attention grabbing. I don't speak for everyone but I do like to be a critic rather than a glorifier and this band has too many holes in a good piece of cheese for this album to be good. Senseless noise is one thing which everyone could get in to, but disjointed and annoying senseless noise is for the insane.
Songs to recommend: 'Pallor', 'Cursed/You People Are messed up' and possibly 'This Is the Last Time I Repeat Myself'. Other than that, it's just more of the same.