Carbonized - Disharmonization


Review: The descent into weirdness accelerates with this avantgarde grindcore album which replaces the flow of constant sound of a fixed dynamic with sparsely placed guitar motives in a space defined by ambient percussion that defines a change in musical scene and accentuates a developing theme of disparate phrases more than frames it uniformly. Lead melody lines dominate narrative in the place of drum and chord unison, breaking apart from rhythmic consistency to explore themes repeated in different forms and phrases throughout each song. These effects create a dynamic of constant change, like a soundscape rushing under a silent night flight, in which the psychological projections of the listener fill a raw space of potential.

As on the first album, phrases drop out of rhythm to take on a life of their own, and guitar playing consists predominantly of single-note picking of motive clusters which partition songs and create a linear theatre of collage sound resembling a fusion between avantgarde grindcore and the shredder heavy metal of the 1980s as channeled into a soundtrack or the choral dimension of a Greek tragedy, designed to bring life to the words of vision of a scene by highlighting them and not explicitly denoting them. In this ability to lead and shadow simultaneously, the lead guitar liberates itself to be a voice commenting on the song through exploration the elements hinted at by overall aesthetic, lending a rich texture to the interactions within each spacious song.

That this construction sets up an opposition between Satriani-esque rhythm leads which create a melodic song within a song, and the more conventional fusion of one-chord surf, reggae, hardcore and metal riffing, causes no opposition because, like an accompaniment to a drama, guitars unfold in a landscape navigated by a dispassionate observer through variations which -- like a death metal band -- fuse the absurd through a continuity of development of abstract theme. Drums, like in jazz, shadow the phrase; unlike in jazz, they switch before each partition, but unlike in grindcore, they do not duplicate in unison the rhythm guitar tempo. Taking a cue from the first album, tempi vary widely as do the styles of percussion which quote from a dozen genres.


1. Frozen Landscapes (instrumental) (3:54)
2. Vlad Tepes (4:19) Heavy metal, death metal, speed metal, doom metal, grindcore or thrash mp3 sample
3. Lord Of Damnation (3:35)
4. Silent Journey (4:53)
5. Spanish Fly (instrumental) (3:41)
6. Succubus (4:02)
7. Night Shadows (3:02)
8. The Voice Of The Slained Pig (2:39) Heavy metal, death metal, speed metal, doom metal, grindcore or thrash mp3 sample
9. Confessions (3:48)
10. Spacecraft (3:40) Heavy metal, death metal, speed metal, doom metal, grindcore or thrash mp3 sample
11. Whip Me Darling (instrumental) (1:09)

Length: 38:42

Carbonized - Disharmonization: Grindcore 1992 Carbonized

Copyright © 1992 Foundation 2000

Instrumentals at times verge on the awkward and wandering, much as happened with Black Flag's "The Process of Weeding Out," whose unsteady and deliberately disharmonious melodies often foreshadow developments on this album. Yet on this album, the melodies of the lead guitar, and the evocative sense of journey they create, imbue the otherwise deconstructive with a sense of adventure unmatched in grindcore; the composition radiates from within the collage. For the most part, the melding works to destabilize the work itself enough that it can emerge with as few obligations as possible and so continue its narrative in whatever form finds convenience in integrating its parts.

In this sense, the song becomes its own patterning, and different phrases create through harmonic sketching of similar progressions a scatter diagram in which the absent areas delineate the pattern to emerge. Consequently, this album is a joyride through the unpredictable to find a consistent development of the seed of melody that founds each of these tunes; some of the most beautiful work of Therion is presaged by some of these riffs, as well as constructions that showed up nowhere else. The result is a sense of epic detachment and yet a descent, a knotting into, the form that emerges only when a song is combined from its disparate parts, like how words typed on a page represent meaning that vanishes as the page bursts into flame.