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Dionaea - Still CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.00 | 1 ratings

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4 stars Catharsis

Not since I opened a CD years ago for a band called "The Pax Cecilia" have I been as pleasantly surprised by something so intense. Seriously wild indeed. Dionaea are a 3-piece from Frenchtown, New Jersey. They are still together but have been inactive for several years as life has not yet allowed more time for band work.

"Still" is an ironic title because the music is anything but still. This short album has only three songs but man do they make every second count. They describe themselves as "post grind" and while I'm no expert in these various tags, what I hear is an intoxicating mix of occasionally extreme elements with post-rock and math intricate playing. Furious blizzards of notes, extreme vocals, and blast drumming one moment and then these breaks of ethereal or serene post-rock the next. You are blown ragged one moment by the sheer intensity and given repose the next. Repeating motifs, "layering of harmonics and concentrated chaos" (-GJ), a colorful palette of guitar sound and techniques. Unlike some "post" projects where the music can often drift sleepily into repetitive and very "studio" sounding realms, Dionaea rock like a real band and a kickass one at that.

I feel lacking in ability to put words to what I'm hearing with this group, suffice to say I feel it is profound and that it should be considered essential for lovers of complex, multi-faceted music. Yes parts of it may seem too extreme for some listeners, but like Toby Driver projects, much of it is quite accessible and the mixture is a good one for folks who might otherwise avoid a band out of their comfort zone. I encourage you to try it! It is both musically cerebral and emotional release. It should please those who like "thinking man's music" and those who just want some scorched Earth. The overall effect, primarily of the masterful guitar playing, is one of cleansing while the bass and drums provide thrills. The first and last tracks are mostly smokin' while the middle track serves as the breather of sorts.

Part of the success here is that the shocking and often abrupt changes in ferocity do not sound phony or disjointed. All three tracks flow together into a long piece that is constructed quite beautifully, a word I choose intentionally to describe my overall feelings. Expression varies from being so immediate and on the surface while at the same time the nuances of the playing are deep and require attention. I've heard many bands try to get this crazy and intense who end up sounding contrived and just not that much fun. This one is fun. Active listening music at its finest, 9/10. Still available on vinyl or you can hear on bandcamp or youtube.

Finnforest | 4/5 |


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