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Disillusion - The Liberation CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.38 | 12 ratings

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4 stars Disillusion is back to their time of Splendor, indeed. 13 years of waiting since their last full length made me lose any hope of a new album. When I saw "The Liberation", I put it on with a lot of uncertainty. 13 years had passed since "Gloria", that was courageous and experimental, departing from the epic long prog pieces of their debut. As much as I loved "Back to Times of Splendor", I didn't fall in love with their follow-up, cause it sounded like their inspiration had dried out. The long hiatus after that seemed to confirm it, but their comeback proved me wrong.

I was very happy to hear that they went back to their roots. "The Liberation" feels very much like an older brother of BTTOS. Long epic songs, alternating heavy thrashy riffs, chaotic blast beats and long reflective slow sections. Compared to their debut, the sound is much darker and heavier. The growl vocals, which I thought they would abandon for good after Gloria, are back in a much more intense style as before. The arrangements are still a bit chaotic and hypertrophic, which was what to me ruined BTTOS a bit, but the guitar work is tight, with a modern sound that resembles some of the things made by Ihsahn. The songs are less beautiful and dreamy than BTTOS, but they all hit the target when it comes to feelings and emotions. It takes several listens to fully appreciate it.

It doesn't help the fact that in my opinion the quality of the songs is increasing during the tracklist, going from "ok" to "wow". After the beautiful intro, the opener "Wintertide" is indeed a summary of all the elements of the album, but it's the weakest song in the lot. The following "The Great Unknown" is direct and heavy, a short piece good for a single, but not very catchy. Then you have "A Shimmer In The Darkest Sea", with a dark pulsing bass paving the way to a disquieting chorus that proceeds obliquely, very deep and intense. Here is when you start to feel that the album is of a rare quality. The impression is confirmed by the majestic titletrack, an epic masterpiece, really resembling the peak of a mountain reached after a long strenuous journey. Breathtaking. "Time to let go" is another catchy and intense short piece, probably my favourite of the lot: its malinchonic verse and chorus is followed by a break that leaks desperation and intensity. The album finally concludes with a beautiful long epic: "The Mountain" starts dark and heavy just like the opening track, but then it finds itself on the surface of an alien planet: a long instrumental atmospheric piece that reminds of Pink Floyd, woven by the notes of a psychedelic brass. After the mid section, the song explodes in the most violent break, before finding release in an emotional beautiful guitar solo that takes the final chorus by the hand, towards the conclusion of the journey.

Disillusion, despite their low productivity in 16 years, are still able to keep the role of one of the most intense and emotional prog metal bands around.

pepato | 4/5 |


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