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Against Nature : Safe Dissonance



Against Nature: the name is open to interpretation. Perhaps it resonates best with Huysmann's book of the same name, or with Aquinas' 'Summa Theologica', or maybe it's best to simply think of it as a self-referential play on the early Revelation song of the same name. Get down with whichever one is your preference, because this prolific group is back with their third effort in the past nine months, and IMO its their best yet. [editors note: The band has later verified that the name comes from the song.]

Alert doom cognoscenti already know that Against Nature is the same line-up of musicians that recorded as Revelation back in 1990, producing the classic 'Salvation's Answer'. A world of changes, including group line-up alterations, battles with depression, and even a total withdrawal from music have occurred since those halcyon doom days. Against Nature has evolved: it's now a different beast with a one-of-a-kind lineage that nevertheless clearly recalls the early Revelation days. The group is now amazingly prolific; perhaps all those years had a bottling effect as experiences and influences accumulated. They're also pretty much an internet-only proposition these days (yet so far...), although they seem to be up for the rare gig, as long as they have to buy plane tickets and go hundreds or thousands of miles to play, no doubt losing money all the while.

In any case, we've got 'Safe Dissonance' to chew on until the next release, which is only a matter of a few months away. Safe? I don't think anything is too safe with these guys. Every Against Nature listener will develop their own favorites, and my guess is that the first one, 'Appease', will win the hearts of most. 'Safe Dissonance', however, continues in that august tradition, and for my money this is their best yet (so far...). For one thing, the vocals seem better, with improved timbre, and the playing seems more confident and a bit more accessible. The second half of the disc in particular, floats this old school doomster's boat with excellent tuneage like the up-tempo, rockin' 'Armadillo', and the Brobdingnagian 'Beware Liliputians', with its fluid guitar leads and trademark tempo change-ups. 'Ignorance and Arrogance' presents spoken vocals more akin to Mayo Thompson or Lee Ranaldo than those to which we've been accustomed.

Despite these difference, 'Safe Dissonance' will appeal to all those who love the unique doom of Against Nature's previous efforts, 'Appease' and 'Panoply'. The group is clearly it's own entity, more confident, with shorter songs and more experimentation than ever before. Adventurous doom freaks will want to sign up, but despite the more rockin' moments on 'Safe Dissonance', the group still plays alot of experimental riffing doom, often moving like a drugged panther wearing booties, lost and plodding carefully through a sea of shimmering fog. So it's not for everyone. But if the idea of mixing together old-school doom influences such as (early) Trouble, Penance, and 'Sabbath, blending in progressive tuneage like Rush and Yes and yes, even jazz, and handing it over to seasoned doomsters with unique personal visions appeals to you, then surf on over to the above-referenced website, do some downloading, and make a donation to the cause.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated

Information

Tracklist :
1. Spectatorship
2. Safe Dissonance
3. Note to Myself
4. Sophistry
5. Canon
6. Inflating Dwarfs
7. Swerve
8. Beware Lilliputians
9. Torpor
10. Armadillo
11. Ignorance with Arrogance

Duration : Approx. 39 minutes

Visit the Against Nature bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Kevin McHugh
Aesthetic Death
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