ION DISSONANCE - CursedCanadian extreme metal outfit, ION DISSONANCE return with their fourth studio album, “Cursed”, released through Basick Records. ION DISSONANCE were formed back in 2002 when 5 friends got a band together with the aim of creating extreme technical metal, which at the time was still very much in its infancy. Over the next five years ION DISSONANCE released three full length studio albums and played over 750 shows in support of these records. In 2007 the band went into hiatus, concentrating on their personal lives, whilst also reinvigorating their desire to create more ground-breaking extreme metal.

In 2010 ION DISSONANCE have returned with their heaviest album yet, “Cursed”. The album was inspired by their personal difficulties experienced during the hiatus, instilling in them a new desire to push the boundaries of extreme technical music to an entire new level.

“Cursed” begins with ‘Cursed’, a mean, moody, dark intro that subtly hints at what is about to be unleashed, but leaves you totally unprepared for the onslaught of ‘You People Are Messed Up’. Brutally in your face, this is heavy as fuck,  it encompasses everything the band set out to do on this record… Fast, technical, extreme metal that dives head first into your ears, bursting through your ear drums, causing the body to rhythmically spasm in time with the music. As abruptly as it started, ‘You People Are Messed Up’ ends, making way for the equally ear demolishing, ‘The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same’… this track is even faster, if that is possible. Backed with Jean‐François Richard’s machine gun drumming and Yannick Desgroseillers’ bass, the duel attack of Antoine Lussier and Sebastien Chaput’s guitars is astonishing. To use technical to describe it would be doing an injustice to the complexity of the time signatures.

ION DISSONANCEBy the time ‘This Is The Last Time I Repeat Myself’ comes on, the ears are almost begging for mercy but are enjoying it too much to give in. The tempo is slower for this track, giving a modicum of respite from the ferocious attack but it is no less heavy. ‘No Care Ever’ reignites the tempo and the onslaught begins again, Kevin McCaughey’s vocals are like the score to a horror movie, absolutely integral to the plot binding everything together and leading the audience, without which the movie would be merely a selection of  non-scary scenes. ‘After Everything That’s Happened, What Did You Expect’ is an absolute brute of a track, despite being less than 2 minutes long it still has the same effect as opening the door of a aeroplane at 30,000ft…

‘We Like To Call This One – Fuck Off’ is a haunting, melancholic affair. The tempo is gone, the machine gun drums are sporadic and there is almost a groove to it before, bang, it blows up in your face, only to fade back into the groove. ‘Can Someone Please Explain This To Me’ again has a groove to it, albeit at a much increased paced, that is until little more than a minute into the track when the metamorphosis happens, turning into slow punchy metal begins. ‘Disaster In Sight’ also has a metamorphosis, it begins so far in your face you can feel its five day growth of stubble pressing into you before its changes into a slow beat with complex time signatures…. the only constant being the persistent intensity of the vocals.

‘This Is Considered Mere Formality’ takes on a more traditional, balls out, persona. ‘This Feels Like The End’ raises the stakes, faster, more brutal than the last… there is a groove in there too, one that would be equally at home snapping your spine as it would banging your head! ‘They’ll Never Know’ is different, very different but in a good way, slow brutal guitars, pounding beats, the trademark intense vocals and even a few samples and programming thrown in too. This track has an atmosphere, an intense atmosphere… you are waiting for ‘it’ to happen and you know ‘it’ will happen, whatever ‘it’ may be… 4 minutes later you are still waiting but in the meantime you have shit your pants through the intense atmosphere it built up. ‘Pallour’ rounds of the album with the first appearance of ‘singing’, this diminishes none of the brutality, in fact, it emphasises it.

“Cursed” is a monster, a beautifully sculpted, brutally cultured monster. The heaviness of this album is immense. It is by far the heaviest thing to have emerged this year, perhaps even the last decade.