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Discordance Axis - "The Inalienable Dreamless" (CD)

Discordance Axis - "The Inalienable Dreamless" CD cover image

"The Inalienable Dreamless" track listing:

1. Castration Rite (0:58)
2. The Inalienable Dreamless (0:41)
3. Sound Out the Braille (0:32)
4. Oratorio in Grey (0:54)
5. Vacuum Sleeve (1:02)
6. Angel Present (1:28)
7. The Necropolitan (1:42)
8. Pattern Blue (1:27)
9. The End of Rebirth (1:04)
10. Loveless (1:27)
11. Radiant Arkham (1:14)
12. Use of Weapons (0:35)
13. Compiling Autumn (2:08)
14. Jigsaw (0:48)
15. The Third Children (2:16)
16. A Leaden Stride to Nowhere (4:07)
17. Drowned (0:58)

Reviewed by on January 7, 2010

"This album is considered the band’s magnum opus, and anyone who is into the grindcore genre would consider this album a classic."

Jon Chang’s Discordance Axis was somewhat of a legend in the grindcore scene. The band is sorely missed after breaking up in 2001 (though Chang’s work lives on in his other projects Gridlink and Hayaino Daisuki). They were known for being an extremely high-pitched act in general, utilizing inventive guitar work, complex drumming, and piercing screams. Their 2001 full length, “The Inalienable Dreamless,” is a must have for any grindcore fan. This album is considered the band’s magnum opus, and anyone who is into the grindcore genre would consider this album a classic.

The music, as I stated before, is very high pitched and the guitar work is technical. The songs are kept very short and they tend to flow into each other very naturally. The production quality on this album is very tight and the songs have a razor edge to them. The general tone of this album is incredibly frantic and creates a tense atmosphere that is the band’s trademark. Discordance Axis is able to create a veritable wall of sound without making it sound like incomprehensible mush. To the casual listener, “The Inalienable Dreamless” may sound like a whole lot of noise, but the complexity of the album is apparent when one looks beyond the frenzied pace.

One thing I noticed in particular about this album is that there is usage of odd time signatures everywhere. There are times when the riffing (which is nearly always super complex and technical) will be headed one direction, then suddenly change. Each song has its own feel and personality, and while one might hear similarities between songs, they don’t all sound alike. For example, “The End of Rebirth” is fast and fanatical like the rest of the album, while the next song, “Loveless,” slows down but is still extremely intense. The drumming is also worthy of mention; it is incredibly complex, but more than that, it’s extremely accurate and sharp.

Some of the guitar work is very unique and, at times, unexpected. “The Necropolitan” is an example of a song that utilizes some of the album’s more unique guitar work. “Jigsaw” is very melodic compared with the more dissonant riffs of the rest of the album and tends to be more memorable. The band also utilizes some down tuned chugs and some punk riffs can be distinguished in the chaos.

“The Inalienable Dreamless” is an incredibly unique album in the grindcore genre in a few ways. One is that, unlike a lot of grindcore, it’s an album that isn’t incredibly brutal and guttural, yet is just as relentless as bands that are. It is also unique in the atmosphere it creates. The title may say “inalienable,” but the atmosphere is alienating and unusual at times. This is an album that won’t be remembered for its riffing or drum work, but for the sound and feeling it creates. A lot of the songs are similar, but Discordance Axis is able to do that while creating a sound that is unlike any other grindcore album before it. For fans of grind, “The Inalienable Dreamless” is an absolutely essential album.

Highs: A staple in the grindcore genre.

Lows: Some songs sound similar.

Bottom line: A grindcore essential.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)