Since the 1997 debut release of the self-titled album , fans of Dissonance have been waiting for the follow-up. Finally late in 2001, nearly a half decade later, electro-dance guru Kristy Venrick at Nilaihah Records saw fit to pick up and release an album from the Cat Hall and David Sebrind duo. Reincarnate is a much stronger sound for the laid back band of old, and with mastering by Oneroid Psychosis' Lars Hansen the production is high end as well.
After getting the debut album, I also received a demo of a side project by Cat called Sinistar. I loved it - I reviewed it and the review never went to print for a bunch of different reasons. But Sinistar was heavy and tearing where Dissonance was light and groovy. I was dying to see a full length by Sinistar, but it never happened.
However now my wish has been satisfied in Reincarnate. Their previous work was softer and while Reincarnate has the moodiness and darkness that first had, it's much more razor sharp. Heavier and more biting in both sound and lyrics. Where Collide melds, Dissonance now scrapes. Where Glis floats, Dissonance suddenly tramples. It's an amazing release and there isn't a bad song here. I'm writing this review myself because I'm not letting this copy of Reincarnate get out of my hands.
But if you long for the lighter, older-skool Dissonance tune in first to track 4, Tightrope. Here Cat and David create a lighter song that harkens back to their older work on their debut album, but touch it up with heavier rhythms and a very pronounced bass line that bubbles heavily through you. Fearless gets a little funky with an awesome bass that bounces about. Cat shows us what she can do with her wonderful voice given the chance with strong, soprano vocals during chorus bars.
Also on Reincarnate is a remake of the Beatles song Eleanor Rigby. I actually think this version is better than the original. I won't ruin the surprise with a deep description. Anxiety is pure bliss for any floor stomper. Amazing hooks, catchy riffs and tearing vocals. And check out Sinking for more examples of what kind of interesting work David can do with bass and rhythm. A master sound programmer if ever there was.
Closing Reincarnate is Lars' remix of Desperate. This remix version pulls out all the rhythms and bass and creates a windy version of the song. I prefer the former, but that's not to say that Lars' version is in any way bad. Desperate just sounds more appropriate with the heavier sounds.
What we have here is an older, wiser, more cynical and heavier Dissonance. Reincarnate is a perfect name for this long-awaited release. In closing, Reincarnate is yet another winner on the Nilaihah catalogue that includes such bands as The Azoic, Oneroid Psychosis, and Fiction 8. A perfect ending to the label's 2001 releases, assuming that the unsleeping Kristy Venrick isn't busy finishing up yet another amazing piece of work.
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