Disillusion - _Gloria_
(Metal Blade, 2006)
by: Kostas Sarampalis (8 out of 10)
_Back to Times of Splendor_ was a great piece of music, even more impressive being a debut album. More than two years later, Disillusion return with an album that will surprise, intrigue and annoy in equal measures. The progressive music that occupied the first album has gone through a transformation, filtered by jazzy, industrial, gothic and even black metal layers, only to emerge as a less complicated but more focused work.

The changes are hinted by the simpler album cover, the new logo and even Metal Blade's press release for it. Openers "The Black Sea" and "Dread It" take the listeners and ease them into the new direction. The third track warns quite plainly, in case you have not liked what is offered so far: "Don't Go Any Further", the only track allowed as a preview before the release of the album, starts with almost a minute of spoken monologue, suddenly crushing into a heavy riff with industrial undertones and bleak atmosphere. Parts of "Avalanche" and "Aerophobic" flirt with black metal aesthetics, what with fuzzy and dissonant guitars, layered with various keyboard themes and sprinkled with operatic female vocals. "Too Many Broken Cease Fires" could easily fit in their first album. On the other hand, "Lava" and "Untiefen" unashamedly experiment and explore other directions.

The vocals in _Gloria_ range from spoken to warm, from urgent to passionate, to mechanical. Guitars can be playful or soar in multiple layers of cacophony, with keys complementing rather than leading. The rhythm section supports unobtrusively. To me it is rather obvious that the musicians are having a lot of fun in this album; they wrote it for themselves first and foremost, and what comes out is a work of love -- and thankfully they have lost none of the talent displayed in the debut, nor the passion.

Personally I find _Gloria_ to be an evolution, a progression and not a repetition of the first album, taking the best elements of the debut, stretching, expanding and metamorphosising them into an equally great new direction, with intriguing results. I know that a number of people will have issues with the changes however. Their loss. The rest of us will absorb and relish the new offer, eagerly awaiting what is to come.

Contact: http://www.disillusion.de/

(article published 10/14/2006)


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