The Liberation

While most are out there blowing their loads over the Tool album, I’ve been sitting here patiently awaiting the arrival of another long awaited progressive metal album, Disillusion’s reunion effort after 13 years!.

Yep- it’s been 13 years since the divisive Gloria, which while a solid album, had the herculean task of following up a certifiable classic in the melodic death metal/ progressive metal realms is Back To Times of Splendor. With Gloria (and its new weird logo /font) adding some more industrial, robotic almost Rammstein elements along with the always popular loss of harsh vocals, the response was pretty negative, despite having some redeeming qualities.

Well, with The Liberation, fans will be ecstatic to hear the band has largely returned to the sound of Back to Times of Splendor, with just a minor hint of Gloria’s more clean, progressive aesthetic. The harsh vocals are back  (Oh Hi Opeth!….) as are the long rangy, unfurling, intoxicating, building songs, and the result is worth the wait, as The Liberation is simply fantastic.

The Liberation sees lone remaining member from Splendor, Andy Schmidt (known as Vurtox back then), joined by a whole new band and it’s clear who the driving force was behind Disillusion’s finer moments. “In Waking Hours” is a gorgeous instrumental intro before the 12 minute “WE ARE BACK!” styled opener “Wintertide” delivers regal, rumbling passages and delicate, crystalline melodic death/prog moments of more urgent tenacity (yes, even blast beats!), which were clearly missing from Gloria, and signalling confidently that this is a reinvigorated Schmidt/Disillusion, but with an eye to the band’s classic debut.

First single/video “The Great Unknown” gives me a bit of a reunion era Gorefest vibe, with big beefy riffs and gruff shouts mixed in with supine clean moments and Schmidt’s alluring clean croons ending the song in austere fashion. “A Shimmer in the Darkest Sea” slows things down a bit with a patient ebb and pulse that repeats and lulls before the title track strides confidently in with a purposeful, grooving stomping rock riff and a great keyboard driven chorus, but it wanders a bit in it mid section before the chorus comes back to close out the track in dramatic fashion.”Time to Let Go” brings a somber hue to the proceedings, with an almost Finnish sense of melancholy, and a gorgeous cello led track ending and crescendo.

The album bookends with another 12 minute track, the slow burning “The Mountain”, where Schmidt channels his inner Pete Steele with some bass-y gothic croons.  The track takes a while to get going before a introspective trumpet led break gets the song going and it finally takes off about 9 minutes in and ends the album with something a little more impactful and memorable.

Reunions/comebacks can be hit or miss, especially after a long hiatus, and even more so if the band left on a bit of a dour note (Gloria). But that note is triumphantly and emphatically  erased with The Liberation, as Disillusion is one of the best reunions of recent memory. Lets just hope they stay on this more splendorous path and sound and don’t revert back to times of Gloria

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
September 16th, 2019


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