Canada has a rich history of outstanding death metal. From the mythical twin titans of Cryptopsy and Gorguts to bands like Archspire, Beneath the Massacre, and Beyond Creation. Sentiment Dissolve are carrying this tradition forward with their strong debut album The Orwellian Dream.

The numerous subgenres of metal are often prone to their own unique subset of cliches and tropes. Tech death is no exception. Band logo in artistic script? Check. Gory sci-fi album art with weird space aliens? Check. Subtextual exploration of existential dread through deeply conceptual lyrics? Check. Pummeling drums, brutal guttural lows and piercing technical guitar highs? Check. Check. Check. All the familiar ingredients are here. Sometimes things are trendy for a reason. Because they fucking rock. Allow me to introduce you to Sentiment Dissolve. They fucking rock!

Tech death and slamming death metal have never taken themselves too seriously. As evident in the acknowledgments section of The Orwellian Dream. ‘Most of all, we want to thank you, the person who was dumb enough to listen to this.’ (No sentient bananas were harmed in the making of this album.)

Too much of extreme metal gets bogged down with notions of being trve kvlt or focusing entirely on playing faster and heavier. They lose the thread of one of the core motivations for making and listening to music: fun. The simple enjoyment of killer riffs and delicious beats. This is something that tech death has always excelled at. Sentiment Dissolve is a welcome addition to that cannon, they are engaging and a total blast to jam out to.

Lest you be afraid of getting beaten to death there are progressive and melodic elements peppered throughout the album offering brief reprieves from the onslaught. Such as on the back half of “Totalitarian Doctrine”, throughout “Omnipotent Panopticon”, and on the closing title track. But you don’t have to take my word for it, you can check out The Orwellian Dream for yourself right now ahead of its upcoming release on May 24th!

The Orwellian Dream was mastered by longtime The Black Dahlia Murder engineer Ryan Williams. More recently, Williams has been working with The Zenith Passage, who have put out some of the finest examples of technical death metal in recent memory. So production-wise, Sentiment Dissolve are in very capable hands.

Speaking of the mix, this album does two things that I absolutely love in a death metal record. The first is that you can actually hear the bass guitar! So many metal albums have the bass simply mirroring the drums or being completely drowned out. The Orwellian Dream has a lot of bouncy bass lines that add a lot of otherworldly alien accents. “Transcending the Hierarchy of Knowledge” shows an example of this mixological wizardry and features some tasty guitar work.

Second, “The Orwellian Dream” delivers vocals with variety and clarity. Without any distracting effects or samples, the vocals on this record are crystal clear. The overall presentation is a simple meat and potatoes affair. There’s a lot of technique here, but not at the expense of groove.

Mostly in the lower register, the vocals on this record are a flurry of growls, shrieks, howls and screams in a variety of flavors. I’m pretty sure I heard some pig squealing at one point. Sentiment Dissolve also uses these almost rap or scat-like rhythms in some sections. The back and forth assault of multiple vocalists in different styles is super refreshing. Especially in a genre that sometimes suffers from monotonous growls.

These vocal dualities are especially powerful on the outstanding closer “The Orwellian Dream”. I can certainly see why they chose to give it the album name to really highlight this track. I wouldn’t say they saved the best for last, there are highlights all over the album, but “The Orwellian Dream” certainly has an incredibly strong finish.

Pre-order The Orwellian Dream, which is out May 24 via CDN Records, now on Bandcamp and be sure to follow Sentiment Dissolve on Facebook and Instagram.

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