Ion Dissonance - _Minus the Herd_
(Century Media, 2007)
by: Jackie Smit (
Following hot on the heels of their countrymen in Despised Icon, Canada's Ion Dissonance are back with their first full-length to feature the vocal stylings of Kevin McCaughey. Line-up shift notwithstanding, their creative mantra hasn't changed much since 2005's _Solace_, and "The Surge" sets the tone for continued Meshuggah worship without losing a stitch. Trouble is that unlike their Swedish heroes, Ion Dissonance persist in being something of a one-trick pony. They certainly know their way around an off-kilter groove and a spastic, hyper-technical polyrhythm; which is fine, only there's little else to keep one glued to the loudspeakers. Melody is a very vague afterthought, and anything approaching a hook is swiftly interrupted by a barrage of plodding discordance. So while there's a fair bit to admire about songs like "Shunned Redeemer" and "Scorn Heaven" -- at least technically speaking -- the chances of them sticking in your memory for longer than a half hour are at best questionable.
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