Disillusion – The Liberation (Prophecy Productions)

Sunday, 8th September 2019
Rating: 9.5/10

Thirteen years is a long time to wait for a new album. Beyond that, when one considers the number that didn’t care for Disillusion’s change of direction with their second album Gloria, it compounds things further – with some fans thinking the band a ‘one-album wonder’ – as Back to Times of Splendor a coveted piece of melodic death metal/prog metal for those who sought it out. But in listening to The Liberation, it just makes things all the more impressive.

First things first, it will take some time to really get to the bottom of The Liberation. It’s not an album that one can put on and immediately fall in love with (though some may disagree). Instead, it’s a matter of sitting back, giving it your full attention, and really diving into the material in order to reap the highest benefits. There’s a lot going in any particular track and most happen to be fairly lengthy endeavors. In comparison to Back to Times of Splendor, there’s a bit less melodeath and a bit more prog. There are some heavy moments, such as on the title track and stunning “Winterlude,” but it’s more about providing some added contrast than trying to go all-out into aggression. What can be expected though, is that you will be pushed through the emotional ringer as slow-burning melodies sneak up on you and explode into moments of triumphant and elation. There’s no cheap tricks involved so much as the band using different components (such as acoustic segments, folk and Middle Eastern flavors, proggy indulgences, and heavy grooves) in such a way that one can’t help but feel whisked away by the music. Dreamy and lingering moments combine with escalating and driving rhythms and veer off into directions that feel urgent and compelling, in the wonder of what is going to be coming up next. The album’s exception to this would be it’s straight-forward yet poignant “Time to Let Go,” which has a rousing chorus and the track itself is an excellent lead-in to the epic closer “The Mountain.”

For those willing to put in the time, Disillusion’s The Liberation is an alluring and majestic piece of progressive metal. An impressive comeback for a perpetually underrated band that hopefully will get their due this time around.

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