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Disfear - Soul Scars
Review: In the style of namesake Discharge, the Scandinavian hardcore assault of Disfear uses blistering distortion and a constant throbbing beat to wrap the steady progressions of melodic chords which permit a resonant synthesis of atmosphere, producing a style that would be best described as ambient hardcore. An example in finest form is provided by the pumping offbeat riff of two short phrases extending and concluding an open interval melodic fragment.
Unearthly, nearly happy drums and acerbic bass surge along with guitar and guard their own textural layers for the purposes of strategically making reentry or playing other themes alongside their counterparts. Ragged grind-emo vocals and looping two-line lyrics create an instrument of suspense over the crunching peaks of detonating powerchords sliding into one another, each riff stressing its own resonance to lead rhythm.
Where most punk bands repeat chords in riff harmony, Disfear borrow death metal architectures of motion in the structure of riffs, creating architectures of motion divided by rhythm into clear figures where the phrase itself defines shape and in what intervals are not filled by chromatic or whole scale chording, a harmonic potential of slight nature emerges for a clustering of micro-riffs to support it. Songs as a whole are simple and like those of Discharge drift into ambience with the hypnotism of a constant beat and sliding perspective shifts in riffing changing outside the dominant tempo to create a sense of adjusted time and place.
The ambience of that form and the deliberate currency of themes create a hopeful self-empowered sense of change which lends itself to the concepts of extreme protest which are belabored in lyrics less expressive of a truth than recognizable as a part of certain viewpoints associated with emotional interpretations of politics. The surges of rhythm and pulsing, living heartbeat of a timekeeping section however dominate all external criticism while the music within is given life by its frenetic motion and periodic insight into the momentum of its own melody. From this band this album is the clearest and most enduring work so far.