Disaffected – Vast

Disaffected – Vast – 1.5/5

Recommended to me by fellow lifer, though for the life of me can’t figure out why, for this fairly concisely sums up just how badly an experimental prog death metal band can go. Now whilst I can’t fault them inherently for trying, neither can I fathom how they thought this was the way forward, seemingly experimenting in a dissonant and staccato fashion for no apparent reason, disrupting any flow the song may have formed, forcing myself to wade through this piece at his request, I find myself wondering, just where do I start?

Much of the ‘rhythm’ (using the term loosely) is carried by the guitars that tend to perform in a similar manner for each track. Consisting of a palm muted ‘chugging’ followed by a couple of high pitched notes or perhaps a random pinch harmonic (or ‘squealie’), despite this inherently bland style they succeed in varying tempo relatively well, and perform the occasional neo-classical, or unmelodic ‘random note bashing-ly’ complex, toned solo. The solo’s feel completely out of place with the rest of the track, and results in something bizarre and counter-intuitive but as a stand-alone are mediocre. The drumming I take little issue with, occasionally abusing use of cymbals he performs a repetitive steady beat with little in the way of fills, but successfully keeps the beat as required of him.

The keyboards disappear for the most part of entire tracks, providing basic chords in what I assume is an attempt to create a background atmosphere (though im not sure of what tone they were going for). Occasionally, abruptly stopping so he can play some ambient/classical stuff for seemingly no apparent reason beyond ‘to be experimental,’ occasionally playing something almost folk-inspired, it feels like a child got loose in the recording studio and performed whatever he felt like without letting the rest of the band know. The vocals, however, are the really dire aspect here. With a monotone mid-ranged growl, he tries to combine both the icy whispered tone of BM with the aggression of DM, and instead comes off sounding like he’s losing his voice.

The entire album comes off experimental for the sake of it. Throw some oddly-placed pinch harmonics to break up the chugging, maybe a randomly constructed ‘complex’ solo, some generic piano instrumental sections and techno vocals and suddenly you’re unique! It feels pointless, but at the same time this band has reminded me of a fact perhaps I was just beginning to forget; sometimes, when a particular style works, it’s best not to fuck around with it.

Note: Clearly in a case such as this where two vastly different opinions come through (the person recommending the album clearly of a different disposition), it seems one of us is likely missing something. I stand by my view, but offer you to sample for yourself and – by all means – give your own thoughts.