New Zealand isn't known as a huge hub of heavy-metal, especially on a global scale. I don't, to be perfectly honest, know particularly many bands from the nation, however, fortunately, the ones which I do know of seem to be pretty good. Dissolution are one of these bands, who have an individual, and interesting take on thrash-metal, as demonstrated by their first release; "Plague of Violence"
"Thrash Hammer" the albums opening track, immediately sets the tone of the oncoming barrage of thrashy goodness. A virtuoso like solo breaks into a heavy-as-hell thrash song, with black-thrash and death metal influences, along with the more eighties, traditional style of the lead-guitar. The band consistently emphasise their solos, which, together with the other pieces of lead-guitar work, are often the crowning features of the songs, creating an epic feel amid the growls and one-hundred mile-hour maelstrom of aggression. This aggression is, however, punctuated by moments of beauty. The epic feeling lead work, and, in the case of "Evil Belle", entirely clean songs, showing that the band has many directions, and isn't stuck constantly in one gear, which so many bands sadly are.
The album seems to have a great many angles within it, and each song has it's own character, while being, at the same time, at home among the others on the album. Genre wise, the sound is difficult to classify. The harsh vocals are in places reminiscent of black-thrash, or death-thrash, as are many of the techniques, such as the tremolo picking, evoking a dark atmosphere, and giving the impression of black-thrash, which is balanced by the slow, crushing parts of songs like "Bi Polar", which has a plodding intro reminiscent of bands like Bolt Thrower. However, there are also the features of traditional thrash, especially in terms of the lead guitar, and in a number of the riffs. All in all, the album seems hard to put in any one category. Maybe this is a good thing, as it makes the listener enjoy the music for it's own merits - I certainly wasn't sure what to seek as I listened, which helped me appreciate many of the aspects of the music for what they were, and what they were was impressive.
"Plague of Violence" is certainly an impressive album, and should definitely receive better recognition than it does. What made the album for me was the Lead guitar, which I have mentioned continuously. It's what I can only describe as sounding like a cross between Alex Skolnick and Chris Poland.
I give the album 8/10. It deserves it.
Dissolution on Myspace
Dissolution on Bandcamp (You can download the album for free here)
Dissolution on Metal Archives