Germany is home to some of the greatest thrash bands we’ve ever had. But Sodom, Kreator, and—in a more Venomy way—Destruction were all borderline black metal outfits, to begin with. Taking cues from Slayer‘s Show No Mercy, Sodom and Kreator (in particular) fucked the world with a set of rusty pitchforks. Then The Big Three of Germany set off on separate paths to bring us thirty (and running) years of unique thrash styles. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that these three have influenced a slew of newcomers for the last three decades. And Dissorted are yet another attempting to plant their flag into this over-crowded soil. Will Dissorted bring something new to the table with their debut record, The Final Divide? Or will they fall under the judgment of the Sodomizing, Destruct
Oh, wait, what the fuck is this?
Scurries back to the computer and searches “Dissorted” on Metal Archives. Puts on glasses and looks at the band’s “location.” Puts on a second pair of glasses and looks again.
Yup, Germany. But aren’t they supposed to sound like their brethren? I mean, don’t all female-fronted Italian bands sound like Lacuna Coil? Doesn’t all American death metal sound like Death or Morbid Angel? Isn’t everyone from Norway a Mayhem copycat? What am I supposed to do if I can’t look at a band’s country of origin and judge them accordingly? What the fuck am I supposed to do as a reviewer if I can’t take one of my Sodom reviews, copy-and-paste it into the blog, and change the band name and album title? Don’t worry, dear reader. It’s no problem. I’ll, instead, steal some adjectives from Steel‘s Death Angel reviews and verbiage from AMG‘s Iced Earth ones to pen my writeup of The Final Divide. That’ll work.
That’s right. Dissorted combine the aggressive-meets-melodic character of Death Angel with the full, concept-like atmospheres of Iced Earth. There are ripping and roaring riffs, like those found on opener “Aggressor – Protector,” and power-driven moments of clean vox and atmosphere, as is the case with “The Plague.” But, no matter the influences or organization of The Final Divide, this record is still a thrashy one at heart. The back-to-back-to-back trio “Aggressor – Protector,” “Deserter (Age of the Wolf),” and “Persecutor” combine Death Angel song structures and vocal patterns with a collection of classic Exodus licks. All use the traditional, full-band backing vox to bludgeon the listener into submission. Yet, “Persecutor” takes home the trophy for the best of the three for its bass-led badassery and catchy chorus. Then there’s “Picasso Warhead.” With a song title to match, this track hits you as hard and fast as anything on Exodus‘ Bonded by Blood. Yet, it’s made even harder by the dark Slayerisms that enshroud it.
For the flip side of The Final Divide, look no further than “Leviathan,” “The Plague,” and “The Temple.” While all are similar in approach, each adds its unique contributions to the record. “The Plague” is where we hear the true Iced Earth influences for the first time. Clean vocals and melodic structures take what you’ve heard before on the album and turn it on its head. Alternating thrash licks and old-school Iced Earth/Stormrider riffs build-up to one of the better choruses on the disc. One that comes off like Zetro Souza trying to achieve Matt Barlow registers. “The Temple,” like “Leviathan” before it, borrows from “The Plague.” But with more thrash and heavier Stormrider vibes. “The Temple” is a quintessential piece for understanding Dissorted, as it combines everything the band is into one track.
But, for how great “Aggressor – Protector” kicks off the album, The Final Divide falls flat with “Black Sea.” It’s an unfortunate case where you have a decent song that shouldn’t be the closer. With my first spin of The Final Divide, I thought it had ended with “The Temple.” It felt so right and that’s who the true closer should have been. Along those lines, the closing moments of “Persecutor” are almost more than I can bear. When the music stops and the vocals continue, I can’t help but get a Machine Headache. If there’s anything we’ve learned of late, it’s don’t be like Machine Head. These issues aside, this is a fun, clever record that contains some eyebrow-raising moments and killer riffage. It shows a band with a lot of potential that I’ll be keeping my eye on in the future.