July 3, 2007 | | 3

Ion Dissonance, Minus The Herd

As with any major shift in such a vital position within a band, a new vocalist is always a little hard to get used to. With ION DISSONANCE’s latest release, it’s more than just a new lead singer that we have to accept. With the band’s last release, Solace (our review), the listener was treated to a chaotic, varied, tempo-shifting display of technical death metal. With Minus the Heard, this Canadian group have parred back that technical death wizardry for a much heavier, simpler sound — and by heavier, we mean absolutely skull crushing. There are still a few instances of Solace‘s frenzy, but for the most part ION DISSONANCE have opted to shift more towards a hardcore, mosh filled mode of delivery. It’s well performed, but if you’re looking for the schizophrenic display of their past work you’ll be left wanting.

When it comes to the vocals, new singer Kevin McCaughey is apt in the style in which he sings, but on several tracks it appears as though he’s trying too hard to match previous singer, Gabriel McCaughrey. Kevin doesn’t quite have the same range as his predecessor, but his style is much more appropriate for the band’s transition to a more confrontational and devastating style of music. I personally could do without all of the spoken vocal shifts, as it sounds a bit forced — perhaps an attempt make the shift from the previous album smoother for fans. Overall, his performance is impressive and compliments the rest of the band well.

Even with all of the changes the band has made, the overall affect is just too much to ignore or dislike. The breakdowns are bigger, chunkier and, well, just plain bad ass. Throw this disc into any CD player and crank it the hell up. It’s just that simple.