DISSIMULATED — Exogenesis (review)

DISSIMULATED — Exogenesis album cover Album · 2011 · Technical Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
siLLy puPPy
When it comes to many extreme metal bands, it seems they are going for the abstraction jugular with not only album titles but bands names in general. Take the word “dissimulate” for example. This is a rather infrequently used English word that means to conceal one’s intentions under a feigned appearance so if you take all the possible word variations of this word then you will get bands like Lithuania’s thrash metal bandDissimulation, the US deathcore Dissimulator and even a Crux Dissimulata from who the fuck knows where. Well here’s yet one more variation of the word, the US technical and progressive death metal band DISSIMULATED which comes from Brentwood, CA which sits equidistant between San Francisco and Stockton.

This powerhouse of primo noise makers formed in 2006 and had five members but by the time the band released its so far first and only album EXOGENESIS in 2011, the lineup was down to Taylor Elsasser (bass), Tim Head (drums, vocals) and Matt Mauro (vocals, guitar). EXOGENESIS (another abstract title that every nerdy sci-fi metal band seems to evoke) features six lengthy tracks that add up to just over 45 minutes. This is some seriously brutal technical death metal that ticks off the expect tech death attributes such as seriously wicked monstrous riffing, bass and drum abuse with time signature gymnastics but the band also mixes in softer passages that implement mellower guitars without distortion and clean vocal much like many progressive metal bands use.

The shortest track is “Cognitive Dissonance” at 5:55 and the longest is “Red Sky” at 9:00 and all the rest play somewhere in between. DISSIMULATED are seasoned musicians for sure as they play high speed brutal death metal riffs with explosive energy but are also masters at changing up the riffing styles as well as featuring dueling guttural growls in a call and response showdown. There are clean guitar parts that offer contrast and short segments of slow tempos that serve as a break to catch your breath. There are also occasional guitar solos but if i had to choose one musician that stands out it would have to be drummer Tim Head who performs outstandingly complex drumming antics that run the gamut from blastbeat death metal wankery to jazzified complexities. The fretless bass runs are also a pleasantry that sounds all the more awesome when allowed to shine without the guitar bombast.

EXOGENESIS is an excellent display of tech death magnificence that is high in quality when it comes to virtuoso performances however what DISSIMULATED fails to conjure up is that magic mojo that offers a sense of uniqueness as the band sounds like myriad other bands that have mastered these same techniques at a million miles per second. The one saving grace is that the progressive nature of the tracks allows a healthier diversity in the tracks than the average tech death band and while not completely lost in a generic haze, DISSIMULATED does rise enough to the occasion to at least make the album a compelling listen but for the most part sits nicely in the tech death crowds of the modern day. Personally i enjoy this one quite a bit. Influences include Periphery, David Maxim Micic, Animals as Leaders, The Contortionist, Circa Survive, Between the Buried and Me, Cynic, Disperse, Intervals.
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