Disquiet – The Condemnation (Soulseller Records)Monday, 4th January 2016
Dutch quintet Disquiet describe their sound as melodic thrash – and few will argue otherwise after taking in modest doses of their second full-length The Condemnation. Reestablished since 2008 (two previous demos appearing in 2000 and 2002), bassist Frank von Boven is the lone newcomer as we gain 10 tracks of late 80’s Bay Area oriented sophistication meets Arch Enemy inspired material.
Guitarists Fabian Verweij and Menno Ruijzendaal (twist those last names around your tongue ten times fast) inject an addictive axe tone while crushing a la At The Gates meets Michael Amott during his early Stigmata mastery for AE – “Born to Dissent” and “From Essence Deprived” prime time winners. The barking ferocity from Sean Maia vocally see-saws between European melodic death and latter day Chuck Billy (The Gathering forward) – working effectively even when a song contains more staccato-laden metalcore elements for “Fist of Persistence”. Mixing up standard four to five-minute fare with the occasional longer arrangement, a lot of the parts possess an air of continuous gut thrusts or head kicking duality, militant and catchy yet not grasping for obvious commercial measures.
A lot of the lead work stays in that smart/logical register, exuding occasional flashes of neoclassical/shred ability but always conducive to the needs of a particular song. My guess is Fabian appreciates not only the work of Michael Amott and Alex Skolnick, but the precursors such as Blackmore, Schenker, and others of that NWOBHM school – injecting plenty of harmony tricks throughout “Las ‘Pasi” and the 7:13 brain battering closer “Bred to Fail”. Slinging arrows like the cover art, Disquiet offer a sound that can adequately appeal to a good cross-section of the underground and average thrash fanatic – heavy and dynamic front to back.
The Condemnation elevates the melodic thrash genre and probably will find a safe spot in record collections who miss Johan Liiva-led AE or late 90’s/current Testament and Heathen platters.