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Album Review: Dissentient - Labyrinth
Canadian progressive death metal four-piece Dissentient released their third full-length album on the 10th March 2023. The album, Labyrinth, which features 9 tracks and runs for just over an hour, will take you on a mind-bending journey through time and space – take note, this album needs to be enjoyed through headphones.
The opening track Saprophyte catches you off-guard, with an 80’s inspired, synth intro, increaseing in volume and building into a much heavier sound. It features some brutal, resonant vocals from vocalist Phil Campbell, and some intricate, technical elements.
Track 3 Existential Purge and Track 7 Silver Sky have a faster pace and boast a more groovy, djent-inspired sound. The bass guitar tone (displayed particularly well in these tracks) is STUNNING – it is warm, heavy and severe, and provides the perfect undercurrent for the album.
If you are a fan of technical death metal, then Track 4 Gloomsphere and Track 9 Throes of Creation will be of certain interest. Track 4 has a cameo of some very pleasing, speedy tech-death vocals and the style of Track 9 reminds me a lot of Allegaeon, with a mixture of clean and fast, growling vocals. Throes of Creation is perhaps the heaviest track on Labyrinth, and also features some extremely technical drum techniques.
Track 2 Chamber of Wires and Track 6 Parallax River demonstrate the quite frankly gorgeous snare tone on this album, with track 2 offering a heavier, more galloping style, and track 6 displaying the snare tone via a somewhat jazzy and melodic breakdown section.
My two favourite tracks from Labyrinth are without a doubt Track 5 Realm Drifter and Track 8 The Labyrinth. Track 5 is appropriately titled, because it geniuinely transported me somewhere else entirely. With a cosmic atmosphere, blast beats, chugging guitars and ending with what I can only describe as music worthy of a Hollywood movie score, it truly is something unique.
However, the jewel in this album’s crown, is Track 8 which is almost 8 minutes of instrumental genius. This song is the melodious version of a character-developing storyline in a video game – the soft, melodic intro is slowly joined by the aforementioned beautiful bass tone and takes you on an intense journey, leaving you with a feeling of redemption and accomplishment. That might sound absurd, but trust me – put some headphones in, close your eyes and enjoy.
Dissentient has aptly showcased their remarkable ability to mix extreme metal genres and have set the bar extremely high for progressive death metal bands around the world. Labyrinth will take you on a transcendental journey of blossoming brutality and technicality and will leave you wanting more – 9.5/10.