Friday 12 July 2013

Dichotomy - Paradigms (Album Review)

Dichotomy - Paradigms

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 14/8/2013
Label: Self Released


Paradigms, album track listing:

1.      Empyrean
2.      The Sentient Oppressed
3.      All-Seeing Eye
4.      Polarity
5.      No Catharsis
6.      Covenant of the Foresworn
7.      Alea Iacta Est
8.      Of Strife Of Discord


Rats ( Guitar)
Andrew Kealy (Guitar)
Dave Fay (Drums)
Neil Coburn (Bass)
Kev O’Connor (Vocals)


Having lived so close to Ireland (and having been there on several occasions), I can safely say it’s a place of passion, drinking and good music.  Then Dichotomy came onto my radar and kicked me square in my jaw: ladies and gentlemen, the good music from the Emerald Isle just got better.  The Dublin-based quintet are releasing their debut album ‘Paradigms’ on the 14th of August, and I’ve been a lucky boy and given the honour of reviewing it for The Sludgelord.  Damn, these guys are good to me. 

First off, this is some heavy shit.  They describe their sound as melodic tech-death, and they nail that genre to the wall.  Then smash a truck through that wall.  If it’s cheery tunes and tame lyrics you’re after, go talk to Bono: these guys are some seriously sick individuals with nothing but talent and passion to offer.  And that’s just damn fine with me. 

It all starts off so peacefully too.  Intro ‘Empyrean’ is a minimalist instrumental piece, so delicate and tender, like a flower just coming into bloom… then ‘The Sentient Oppressed’s steel-toed boot crushes it dead.  This song is a supercharged nightmare, with vocalist Kev O’Connor sounding like Cattle Decapitation’s Travis Ryan, and that’s always a good thing in my book.  The entire music package on display here is aggressive, bold and magnificent: a perfect death metal pick-me-up. 

‘All - Seeing Eye’ continues the aggression with a balls-out, no-holds-barred metal tirade, with very Thy Art Is Murder-emulating riffery and savagery.  ‘Polarity’s guitar attacks saw at you like a blind alley filled with whirling blades: Andrew Kealy and Rats are dangerous men, approach them at your own risk.  ‘No Catharsis’ is all about Dave Fay’s pounding drums and chugging pace, which gets your head banging straight from the get-go. 

If I thought the level of intensity couldn’t get higher, ‘Covenant Of The Forsworn’ blasts in like the force of a hurricane.  Bassist Neil Coburn practically kills his bass, such is the ferocity of the lines he plays on this.  The melodic parts that hit at around the 2-minute mark are ferocious yet ingenious, almost harking back to the subtle intro yet still maintaining the absolute fierceness of the other preceding tracks.  If there is a highlight track to this mighty album, this would be my pick. 

‘Alea Iacta Est’ (which is Latin for ‘The die has been cast’ – see? These reviews can be educational too!) begins with some absolutely lovely guitar music.  Just an acoustic guitar and a talented dude to play it… then the subtlety gets shoved aside once again to make way for the heaviness.  This is an instrumental with class: heavy yet intricate, Metallica’s ‘Orion’ for a new generation.  A group of natural harmonics ends the song and leaves you feeling gloriously uplifted.  Album closer ‘Of Strife Of Discord’ ends proceedings with a roaring, defiant show of speed, skill and skeleton-melting intensity.  It’s a pinch-harmonic strewn monster, burst from the sea and intent on laying waste to the nearest big city. 

Usually, debut albums can be a bit raw at the edges, but Dichotomy’s ‘Paradigms’ is a well-polished, mature slab of melodic tech-death that excites, tantalizes and brings a smile to the face of the listener.  Ireland has found its wild side again. 

Words by: Chris Markwell

As ever, show your support to the band by checking them out at the various links.  You can buy the CD here.  DD is available at the usual outlets.