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Disconnect - Indivision CD (album) cover

INDIVISION

Disconnect

 

Crossover Prog

3.71 | 70 ratings

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JasonTodd
5 stars I've enjoyed this band's prior work quite a bit and only found out about this new album from a friend who has a copy of it. This same friend turned me on to Disconnect originally, so I was pleased to see another release from these guys. I found Disconnect's earlier releases to get successively better with each new record and 'Indivision' continues that trend. I've listened to it in its entirety twice now and is definitely a concept album as the songs are all connected, making it one big long epic.

So here's my song-by-song breakdown...

PRELUDE: very Rush-influenced here, reminds me of Hemispheres in both spirit and tone. it's a brief introduction to the main part of the album and features some interesting synchronized drum/guitar sections. It's not an overly long track although I caught myself wishing it were a little longer.

GOOD INTENTIONS PART 1: in contrast to the upbeat 'Prelude', this song is more of an emotional piece which builds slowly. The vocals are quite reminiscent of Spock's Beard (Morse era). As someone who has heard the band's other work, I'm hearing some instruments on this album that I haven't heard before. On this track we get some saxophone, cello and other strings (I'm assuming its a keyboard tone and not actual strings, but works very well). Musically this track reminds me a lot of the last couple of Waters-era Pink Floyd albums, especially The Final Cut. Next we get a very King Crimson-sounding section. Really liking the bass in this part. The song ends on a funky rhythm that moves seamlessly into the next song, which is...

GOOD INTENTIONS PART 2: a very different vibe than Part 1, this one is much more upbeat and almost funky (in an 80s sort of way). The lyrics are very poignant here and gives one the feeling you are listening in on a confessional phone conversation. Really nice and tasteful guitar solo on the end. This song is a good 'jumping off point' for anyone who is new to Disconnect. Very accessible track.

CINCTURE: starts off with a bang then returns to a bit of a funkier section for the verses. Nice bluesy guitar as part of the intro, fits nicely here. The band changes up the beat in the 2nd verse which allows the song to grow before moving on to a really nice saxophone solo (again, presuming it's a synth tone, but sounds amazing). Following this are some odd time sections with some truly abstract guitar. O'Dell has a quite a range in style on guitar, he goes from a bluesy style early on to a more Fripp sorty of approach within the same song.

PERPETUAL DECAY: Possibly my favorite song on the album featuring lots of changeups & turnarounds. Interesting acoustic riff starts us off with some melodic guitar leads...a brief but beautiful cello solo takes us into the next section, which is much darker & heavier. Another new element to their music I've noticed is the use of synchronized sections of multiple instruments. This is something more native to symphonic prog, but it's nice to see these guys stretching their musical legs into new areas.

CREEPING FADE: Definitely the heaviest and most 'metal' song on the album. I'm very picky about metal (not my favorite genre) but they pull off a nice one here. The middle section features vocals that sound (to me) a bit like Peter Gabriel or maybe even Fish (Marillion). The middle section is a stark contract to the heavy sections, but is not jarring by any means. The parts work great together. Another abstract guitar lead here along the lines of Fripp, Belew, etc.

ALL FALL DOWN: one of the more melodic tunes on the album, starting with a simple descending chord progression. I have to say I do like the band's usage of piano throughout this album. while it is obvious O'Dell is no virtuoso on piano/keyboards, he does have a knack for using it tastefully enough to perfectly complement their songs. Again we see the band changing chords and beats around during different verses. This is something I don't recall them doing on their prior work - I like this sort of movement within a song. It is not the strongest track on the album, but it is one that I think may grow on me.

RAPTURE: an instrumental interlude linking songs together, very mellow and spacey. There is a really nice distorted horn part on here that I like. Another sound I've not heard from this band before.

TWO STONES: Probably my other favorite song from the album along with 'Perpetual Decay'. This has a very Porcupine Tree sort of feel with some Pink Floyd thrown in for good measure. This is a powerful track with some rather odd chord movement in the middle section, which also features some tasteful acoustic guitar. A really, really nice brief guitar lead takes you out of the middle section. The tone of this solo reminds me a lot of Steve Hackett. The outro of the song features some simple percussion and keyboards which builds up at the end, leading right into...

SINGULARITY: Very cool and complex instrumental track. Some really bizarre meters and riffs at work here. This moves into a solo section which shows the band's King Crimson's leanings once again. Sadly this songs is about 3 minutes too short, I wanted more...

TIME'S ABYSS: This is an upbeat track that reminds me a little of the Flower Kings as well as Van der Graaf Generator to some degree (moreso Flower Kings though). One thing I really enjoy about this track are the synchronized drum/guitar/piano/string parts, again showing Disconnect is moving into symphonic territories previously unexplored with their prior work. The song ends with a reprise of the main riff we heard in 'Perpetual Decay' (which works for me as that is my favorite track from the album). The outro guitar solo shows us once again that O'Dell is a master of multiple guitar styles as he returns again to a jazzy/melodic style, contrasting some of the more abstract approaches we hear elsewhere on the album.

CLOSING THE BOOK: Lyrically this may be the best song on the album. The song has a really nice groove and features a really cool vintage organ tone (Rhodes?). The chorus sections remind me of Spock's Beard a little bit. The middle section features an extended piano/string part which allows the song to feel a bit more uplifting than it would have been otherwise. Coming out of this section is a brief guitar lead that may be the best on the album. From a technical standpoint it may not be the most complex solo on the album, but there is something about the way this particular solo feels - it just adds some emotional depth to the song overall.

FINALE: Another instrumental that closes out the album. You can hear the Rush influences again as well as a heavy recall of their King Crimson influence with some interlaced rhythm guitars, each playing a slightly different meter. A perfect way to end the album.

The band's technical prowess and songwriting continues to get better all the time. Their usage of new instruments & sounds is a very encouraging sign that this is a band that wants to keep moving forward and not dwell on rehashing the same sounds and approaches over and over. I'm also hearing stronger vocal efforts from O'Dell on this album. From reviews of their other work, I've seen that his vocals have been a sticking point for some listeners. While I certainly understand why some may not be fond of his style, the same can be said for a lot of other prog vocalists. How many times have we Rush fans had to hear people complain about Geedy Lee's voice? : ) While O'Dell is certainly no Geddy , he turns in a solid vocal performance throughout this album.

I have to keep reminding myself that this is the work of only two guys.

As I mentioned in spots of my review, O'Dell's guitar work is very impressive not only from a technical standpoint but his ability to seamlessly change styles is rare. On one song his guitar leads may sound like Mark Knopfler....on the next song his solo may sound like Reeves Gabrels or Robert Fripp - then on the next song he is channeling David Gilmour. His bass work has evolved nicely as well (he could call himself a bass player if he wanted and he'd get no argument from me!). He's also competent on keyboards and compliments the songs well in that regard too.

Eschrich's drum work is, as always, outstanding and is what drives this music for me. While it is obvious he has insane chops on drums, he also has an amazing sense of restraint when the song demands it. The Peart influence is obvious but you can also hear a bit of Bruford and Portnoy here and there as well - yet Eschrich's usage of some rather unusual percussion sounds gives him a voice all his own.

I've watched (and heard) this band evolve across all their albums and Indivision is by far their strongest work to date. Disconnect is that rare group that defies categorization. They touch on so many different subgenres of prog that it's hard to put a finger on 'what' they really are. As they seem to be evolving with respect to their sound, it's hard to imagine what will come next. I know these guys are an independent group and everything they put out is completely self-produced and self-promoted. Some of the best new prog I've heard in the past couple years have been from bands like Disconnect who are out there doing their own thing and making great music. Indivision is an album that can speak to fans of crossover prog, symphonic prog, heavy prog and even at times progressive metal.

JasonTodd | 5/5 |

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