DISPERSE – Living Mirrors

DISPERSE – Living Mirrors

SOM 276 Disperse

Disperse are a young Polish band, who were founded in the city of Przeworsk during 2007. They create elaborate music with an inspired style and modern touch.

Living Mirrors is the follow-up to the 2010 release Journey Through The Hidden Gardens. It is being released via their new label, Season of Mist.

Their music is a deep and rich melting pot; like label-mates Cynic, they sit on the fence between metal and jazz fusion, using unusual chord progressions and leads which are reminiscent of fusion icon Allan Holdsworth. There are moments of glorious, euphoric melody, which battle with turbulent riffs to make their mark. Living Mirrors is an intelligent album, which sees the band focus wholly on the final products of their efforts, rather than their noteworthy technical ability. There are very few passages added for the purpose of emphasising their skills to show off, so their perfected techniques only add to their fantastic arrangements.

There’s just a couple of tracks that don’t seem to fit well with the rest of the album, and though their inclusion doesn’t spoil things, they seem rather pointless. WOW! and Be Afraid of Nothing are both around a minute long, and don’t have much to offer. WOW! is a brief atmospheric piece which is completely out of place in this record, and after the storming Message from Atlantis feels very weak. Be Afraid of Nothing follows another strong track, Universal Love. It is a quick foray into the use of an effects laden guitar, alongside the background humming of an airy synth. However, it does lead straight into Unbroken Shiver; I’m not sure why it needs to be a separate track; the two could have been combined into just one piece.

Enigma of Abode is the first single from Living Mirrors, and you can watch the music video below. Dynamic and detailed, this track is an obvious highlight from the album. The instrumental break at around 2:40 sounds to me quite like Gordian Knot, a group directed by Cynic bassist Sean Malone. They are known for their complex yet melodic compositions, and Disperse show that they are every bit as capable of producing music in that vein.

If you enjoyed the single, you can also stream the album in full from Disperse’s Bandcamp, or below.

Jazz fusion is an intricate genre, and there aren’t that many bands who have pulled off the marriage with metal successfully – the exceptions, for me, include Cynic and Gordian Knot. The four albums produced in total by those bands have long stood as personal favourites, but I think Disperse actually come very close to that high standard. That’s an impressive feat, particularly considering this is only the group’s second album.

Living Mirrors is the result of thoughtful orchestration and hard work. Binding together the music of Dream Theater and Cynic, Disperse have emerged with a sound which is distinct and singular.

A brilliant record, and another 2013 ‘must have’ for prog fans. Go and grab it now!