The 2013 Arsies: January 8, 2013

January 8, 2013

It may be left to future ethnomusicologists to decide exactly when djent died, but I'd put good money on its demise having happened some time in the last 12 months. A year ago, all you needed to make credible djent was a 7-string guitar, Pro Tools, and a random number generator. Nowadays, not so much. The canny operators are following Meshuggah's sensible lead and diversifying, evolving, or else abandoning their sound altogether.
Chimp Spanner is in a different category; while he's been happily embraced by the djent/DIY community, he's always been more of a jazz/fusion take on the genre. With his latest release All Road Lead Here, he hasn't deviated his sound significantly at all... and in holding steady, has released the quintessential EP for the post-djent world. The central song suite of the EP, Möbius, is a nerdy triumph, with staggering rhythms and faultless guitar leads. It's so good, so well-composed that you'll wonder why it's taken anyone so long to discover the riffs and melodies.
Those are bold words that've gotta ring in the ears of veterans Vision Of Disorder, especially since their latest release The Cursed Remain Cursed isn't as much of a knuckledragger as their seminal album Imprint. To be fair, VOD has always tried to outgrow the long shadow of NYHC. And with songs like Set To Fail, the band sounds more like Nothingface than Sick Of It All. It's snarling but refined, and a welcome return for a band whose last album came out twelve years ago. But as much as you'll delight in The Cursed Remain Cursed, it's just not as perfect an album as the Chimp Spanner, who triumphs in their debut battle.
Tomorrow, The Faceless faces off (get it?) against Katatonia.

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