Just looking at the album cover for Dissident Clone’s 2018 release “Civilized” had me excited. Although just black white and grey, there’s plenty of excitement happening on this cover. With zombie like monsters beheading (or smashing the head of) a figure that has a likeness to our dear old president all in front of a capital building, yeah, I was sold. Gorey, brutal, and not far from insane, this cover is definitely a good indication as to how the album is.
The unrecognizable vocals mixed with the intense drumming and chugging guitars instantly catapult you into a word of chaos and destruction. “Collapsed”, the opening song, may only be a minute and forty-six seconds long but it definitely packs a punch. The lyrics in this quick opening song set a stage for what’s to come as well. “Republic democracy/ A capitalist system of swine”. I mean, you do the math of adding that with the cover photo and try to tell me you don’t know what this album will be about.
The aggression and energy stays insane for the next song “Thoughthammer”. Half way through this song is the first time you hear vocalist Patrick Morris’ vocals turn into a terrifying growl and it definitely won’t be the last. Although just a two piece, the way Patrick and drummer Chad Brunsell are able to make this wall of sound with just the two of them is absolutely freaking mind blowing. The tempo stays at warped speed for “Mindmaggots”. Although it’s nearly impossible to understand majority of Patrick’s lyrics, there are moments in this song where you can hear some of what he’s saying and it’s almost as powerful as the music. “No guilt. No Salvation.” Again, the album artwork should say it all but, if not, the lyrics are there so push the point home a bit harder.
There’s a frantic feeling behind the opening of “Besieged and Entrusted”. With an furious drum beat to kick off the song, it quickly settles back into the same grindcore, death and overall overly heavy sound that the previous songs had. Also, like the other songs, this one just kind of ends and before you are able to even take a breath, you hear the cymbal hits that introduce the title track “Civilized”. The anger in the vocals matches the anger that the lyrics convey (and yes, I can say that because I’m sitting here reading the lyrics since there’s no way I could understand them without the liner notes). “Civilized” is definitely my favorite track on the album when it comes to the lyrics. It calls out people for not truly knowing what’s going on and living in a happy place that is completely fabricated by the people that want you to think everything is fine. It makes you question how much you really know about what’s going on and almost acts as a call to action.
“International Monetary Fraud” kicks off with a sound clip of, who I can only assume to be, a politician. I honestly love how political every single song on this album is. People judge the metal kids for not knowing what’s going on and just being angry all the time but this album (and “International Monetary Fraud” specifically) prove that there are people in this scene who know exactly what’s going on and demand a change. Up next is the longest song on the album at three and a half minutes- “Opinion Denied”. Opening up with a giant growl that will surely put goosebumps on your arm and make the hair on the back of your neck stand up straight, there’s this new darkness that can be heard in Patrick’s voice. A bit more growly and strained than previously on the album, “Opinion Denied” is definitely one of the heavier songs on this album.
The chaos and franticness takes a front seat as the album kicks into track eight “The Gnashing of Teeth”. It’s almost anxiety inducing with the way the cymbals and bass drum never seem to stop. It puts you in a fury and just when you think you’re about to loose is, the duo gives you a small break with a few seconds of just guitar before throwing you back into the fire. It’s almost as if you’re drowning in this sea of sound and are just given tiny chances to catch your breath before being dragged back under. That sounds terrible, I know, but, if you like this type of music, it is beyond perfect.
“Concentric Circles of Disgust” is another favorite of mine when it comes to lyrics. Much like “Civilized” this songs takes a stab at the people who aren’t helping anyone when it comes to progression and making this world a better and more equal place. Again, the anger in the voice and the aggression in the music says what the nearly unrecognizable lyrics are trying to say without you having to read the lyrics line for line. There’s a sense of power throughout this album which refuses to be ignored and “Concentric Circle of Disgust” seems to be the song where that vibe comes to a head.
Closing out this ten song album is “Scars and Stripes”. Although the song starts off a little less frantic than the rest, it doesn’t take long for the chaos to breakthrough. The vocals go from fairly clean to the point where you can almost understand some lines, back to Dissident Clone’s signature growl that reigns supreme throughout the rest of this album. Although each song is great, this song stood out to me musically. Maybe it’s because I’m truly just getting old and enjoy being able to understand the lyrics rather than having to read them or maybe there’s something about the music being less frantic and more just chaotic, regardless, this was a great closing piece for this album.
Dissident Clone’s “Civilized” album is definitely not for everyone but if you love your music to be extreme, in your face, chaotic and frantic while being extremely political then this album is for you. Being a political person and someone who finds the current state of the world to be unsettling to say the least, and a person who like her music heavy, I loved every second of this quick moving album.
My Favorite Track(s): “Concentric Circles of Disgust” and “The Gnashing of Teeth”
Chances Of Getting A Noise Complaint While Listening To In An Apartment: 9.3 out of 10
At Home Moshability: 7.1 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artemis laid on the couch with his paws over his ears. Autumn hid under my bed.
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 7.3 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 4.1 out of 5
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