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"The Isolation Game" by Disarmonia Mundi Album Review

I write classic "good vs evil" creative writing pieces with smart twists inspired by vintage action cinema, gaming, and heavy metal.

"The Isolation Game" Album Cover

"The Isolation Game" Album Cover

Track Listing and Line-Up

Track List

  1. Cypher Drone
  2. Structural Wound
  3. Perdition Haze
  4. Building An Empire Of Dust
  5. Stepchild Of Laceration
  6. The Isolation Game
  7. Blacklight Rush
  8. Glimmer
  9. Ties That Bind
  10. Losing Ground
  11. Same Old Nails For A New Messiah
  12. Digging The Grave Of Silence
  13. Shape of Things to Come (Bonus)

Line-Up

Ettore Rigotti: Guitars, drums, bass guitar, keyboards, and clean vocals
Claudio Ravinale: Harsh vocals and lyrics

The album also features vocals by Bjorn "Speed" Strid (Soilwork), Antony Hämäläinen (vocals), and guitarist Olof Mörck (Nightrage) on two songs.

My History With the Record

This record was my introduction to Disarmonia Mundi. It was a major highlight from my exploration into the genre called melodic death metal/melodeath. Soilwork's "Chainheart Machine," Amon Amarth's "Twilight of the Thunder God," and Sonic Syndicate's "Only Inhuman" were deeply ingrained in my mind, and I was on my way to blooming into a melodeath warrior when I stumbled across this incredible record. Back when I used to visit online metal archives, Disarmonia Mundi popped up on the list.

After a quick YouTube search, I was hooked.

The gritty guitar work sounded like a circular saw cutting lead piping. It triggered images of death matches in abandoned prisons, loner heroes traversing blood-soaked hallways, and more images of going to dangerous places where death was imminent. You can't help but imagine yourself as the protagonist in the aforementioned situations. This is the way my mind went during my time with the album.

The Album Review

Melody

Disarmonia Mundi are a melodic death metal band with progressive elements and intense, time-stopping moments of beautiful harmonies that are started by clean passages and guided by headbanging. Artillery-ordnance guitars with fire support from bass and drums, like a Soviet Katyusha missile launcher raining hot hell down, make this a highly enjoyable record. The 14 tracks of melodic mastery explore themes such as society, insanity, and violence. Vocalist Claudio Ravinale sounds like a more insane, borderline-possessed Bjorn Strid (Soilwork), while Ettore Rigotti's clean passages stop time while his guitarwork tears the air and cuts up jumbo jets with its wings.

Vocals

The 14 tracks have a slightly Lo-Fi production, and the vocals have a "hiss" to them while the drums have more punch. The guitars have a grinding sound.

Musically, the album appears to be doing its own thing with riffs that I have not heard in other melodeath releases, even underground ones, while clean passages were coming out of nowhere. These leave me thinking during the build-ups, "they wouldn't; the track is too good as it is" only to blow my head off and make me lose myself in excitement; headbanging in public included.

Best Songs

I enjoy this album in its entirety and frequently come back to it; however, some tracks grabbed me more.

"The Shape of Things To Come" is a devastatingly melodic final showdown (it's the last track on the record) with aggressive overtones and a nerve-massaging solo that goes off into the distance; this is the ultimate revenge track.

"Digging the Grave of Silence" is another favorite track of mine; an auditory middle finger to any adversary as the lyrics all aim to challenge and scream, "YOU WILL NEVER DEFEAT ME!"

"Same Old Nails for a New Messiah" is so intense it could be battle music in games like Serious Sam or Painkiller with galloping bass passages, down-tuned guitar grinds to signal the next bad guy to be disemboweled.

Overall Takeaways

Overall, this is an intense record that I would give to anyone who explores the melodeath genre as it has the best parts of death metal mixed with melodic elements that complement the aggressive, dark mood. The record does not try to sound like In Flames (something many tried) and instead chooses a direction and sticks with it, forging Disarmonia Mundi its own identity.

Final Thoughts

Overall, The Isolation Game is an album that challenges your senses with strategically placed clean passages, guitar solos alongside the dark lyrics, which remind us of the death part of the genre's name.

There are slow-paced methodical tracks just as fast barrages; both done very well.

This album is a chaotic yet orderly masterpiece of musical majesty.

Buy The Album Here

© 2018 Jake Clawson