Dissoution is the 12th studio release from these bittersweet progressive rockers on the post progressive label Kscope.
This is the second album following 2016’s breakthrough album Your Wilderness to feature King Crimson and Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison, whose creative input and exquisite percussive style elevates what might initially be perceived as quite a gentle offering to giddy heights.
Dissolution is a delicate blend of well-crafted accessible, contemporary progressive art rock and pop sensibilities. Thematically, the work is based upon the dissolution of relationships and the effect which social media has upon such a personal situation, when the world feels free to peer in and comment under the guise of anonymity. This is cleverly depicted in the album art, with its distorted image of a digital, but beautiful face.
The album opens with the gentle and melancholy ‘Not Naming any Names.’ This could easily be a lament dedicated to those faceless trolls, hiding in their assumed anonymity. A delicate balance of a strong vocal accompanied by piano is effectively chilling and sets the tone interestingly.
‘Try as I Might’ is a beautiful progressive rock ballad. It is a painful reminiscence of the end of a relationship, having been blown to pieces. The anguish and conflict of being watched and judged, when you are trying to make a stand set to a mesmerising melody.
‘Threatening War’ starts in a more pared back manner, then in come the drums. Not any old drums, emotive syncopated rhythmical pulses which adds both weight and a compelling power. Gavin Harrison elevates this ballad to a rock anthem that would not be out of place in an arena environment. ‘So you’re threatening war? So go ahead and send it.’ Ouch, this is powerful stuff.
‘Uncovering Your Tracks’ is melodically darker, lyrically too. ‘You fight like you’ve given in’, is a peculiar chorus and rather unnerving as is the guitar solo. Bruce Soord, singer, guitarist and songwriter explained that the “song is about people being paranoid about people – what are they doing, what are they scheming, what are they up to, how is it going to ultimately end…. This horrible negative feeling.” A masterpiece in paranoia and disconcertment.
‘All That You’ve Got’ may be more upbeat, but it is still melancholy. Driven by the incredible percussion and longing vocals, the exhaustion and hurt of a betrayal. The guitar breaks are clever without overpowering the balance of the sonic landscapes.
‘Far Below’ was the first single released from Dissoution, and apparently originated from a jam between Soord Gavin from the distinctive 6/8 drum rhythm created, which begged for a sympathetic melody. Soord has commented that this “does showcase what the four of us want The Pineapple Thief to be about and I for one can’t wait to play this one live.” Is this the sound of a band regrouping, recovering strength and preparing for battle? I for one hope this fight continues.
‘Pillar of Salt’ is a masterclass in understatement, just a haunting voice and and an acoustic guitar in harmony.
Moody pulsating and experimental, ‘White Mist’ is the more classically progressive track on the album and not just for its 11 minute duration! The track features the guest appearance of American experimental guitarist David Torn, famed for his clever use of looping pedals (and David Bowie). Within there are hints of Waters and Gilmour era Pink Floyd, but with far more avant-garde elements. It cleverly meanders, occasionally changing both pace and direction as might a synth driven mountain stream. An atmospheric adventure culminating in a soaring distorted guitar solo which gently fades into the ether. The plaintive ‘Shed a Light’ closes the album with a haunting mournful tone about people giving up too easily, with a chilling breakdown of a break which offers hope amidst the despair.
1. “Not Naming Any Names” 2:05
2. “Try as I Might” 4:26
3. “Threatening War” 6:37
4. “Uncovering Your Tracks” 4:29
5. “All That You’ve Got” 3:27
6. “Far Below” 4:36
7. “Pillar of Salt” 1:25
8. “White Mist” 11:05
9. “Shed a Light” 5:20
Each Monday The Metal Report sends out a list of all stories, interviews, reviews and features we’ve posted for the previous week. You can sign up for it here.