Disphere – “Abscience”

If you write a review of a reissue, does that make is a rereview? There are probably lots of good reasons that different albums which were issued once get issued again. Those reasons (or rereasons) are often commercial, although as more and more albums come out digitally, I would assume that is happening less, unless it is to issue the album in a new format. So perhaps just as often, the reasons for a reissue reside somewhere in the coiled personal or musical histories of the artists and the issuers themselves. I will hazard the guess (my first of two) that Rude Awakening Records recatalogue will take shape around that more artistic model,  since Abscience first came out in 2007, and I know the internet existed in 2007 because I can remember how cool MySpace was.

Also, this feels like a reissue with a purpose. When I first listened to it, I thought maybe the decision had somehow been influenced by Daniel Lake’s review of the new Black Dahlia Murder album in the December issue of Decibel, where he writes “…if all I wanted was background noise for sticking some prickly 50,000HP abominations with my Level 37 elemental spells, Abysmal might fit that bill.” I think Lake wants Abysmal (which, although everything Lake says about it is true, really isn’t that bad) to sound more like Abscience. Abscience is a totally committed death metal record that is totally distinguishable from other death metal records, and if you don’t think that is a big deal, it’s probably because you’ve never listened to more than one death metal record. Not only is Abscience easy to tell apart from other death metal records, every song on it sounds different, and yet never sounds like anything but death metal. For me, that alone makes it worth hearing. For you, it also might help to know that Disphere totally wail on this album. And they are groovy. And they are weird. And they are jazzy. And they are destroying. I need to check, but I believe that the entire album contains exactly one note on a piano (“Inborn” – 1:40), which for some reason just seems incredibly cool (all right, I checked, and it could be a cow bell or a tuning fork for all I know, but whatever it is, it’s cool).

After listening to Abscience, I wanted more, so I started searching me up some Disphere. I then began to wonder if this reissue is less of a message to Black Dahlia Murder, and more of a message to Disphere.

Let me show you what I mean. You saw Avengers, right? Sure you did. And you liked it? Of course, everyone liked Avengers. And how about that orchestral score, huh? Got you pumped, didn’t it? Yeah, am I right? Then you should consider something that Kristoff and I figured out last winter while we were drinking beer in our dad’s kitchen. Let me line it up for you:

To clarify, this doesn’t mean that you think Star Ship Troopers is a good movie. No one is saying that you do. Calm down. What someone may be saying, however, is that you should also try the same thing here:

Does this mean that Disphere sold out and tried to turn themselves into the Italian Tool? No. It means they tried out being the Italian Tool because they think Tool sound awesome. I know that because their new album sounds nothing like Tool. Instead it just sounds like Rosetta, with about twice the post-metal and about half the ideas. And does that mean that Disphere suck? Again, no. It means they are trying out different stuff. Disphere are experimenting with sounds that they like and seeing what works and what doesn’t. Most of the good bands around today don’t do that — they stay true to a style instead. But a lot of the legendary bands around today? They did exactly that. Paradise Lost and Tiamat didn’t get to where they are by releasing the same album over and over again, and let’s face it, the price of that was a few less-than-legendary albums along the way.

So maybe reissuing Abscience isn’t a gesture of resurrection or restoration or anything especially re. Perhaps it is rather a bit more pre. Like a premonition. Or maybe even a promise. Abscience was one step into something different. And if there is one thing that Disphere have proven with all of their subsequent records (none of which are terrible, by the way), it is that they are a group of musicians constitutionally incapable of releasing the same record twice. This is a good thing. And if this is a prereview, then sooner or later, Disphere are going to bust out with something unlike anything you have ever heard before.

Check out Abscience by clicking here.

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