Tardive Dyskinesia - Harmonic Confusion

Tardive Dyskinesia Harmonic Confusion cover
Tardive Dyskinesia
Harmonic Confusion
Playfalse Records
2016
5
Well, Tardive Dyskinesia after a full decade and some four albums, including this one, have graduated their early style of screaming hardcore metal into a more subdued, prog inclined, djenty lighter core, with persistent attempts at “clean” screaming, a style more inclined towards latter day Mastodon, The Ocean with maybe a bit of Textures. Songs that try to be atmospheric and often include some pretty complex and syncopated patterns that boggle your mind, but overall homogenous riffing that tries to match them, with chunky chugs in an overall diluted more “artistic” version of the band’s earlier style.
 
While not completely passable, the real opener of the album after the introductory “Insertion” that comes in the form of the quite dense seven minute “Fire Red Glass Heart” does feel a little lazy and at seven minutes doesn’t really manage to impress or really make a lasting impression.
 
“The Electric Sun” that follows is somewhat more adventurous in its verses not by much, but feels a little less condensed and formulaic.
 
“Self Destructive Haze” returns to the spasticated and minimal riff pattern of the opener, but my overall problem is the due to the whole attempt to sound more melodic, these bands that attend to cross over their style fail to deliver the ferocity of some more extreme acts and don’t manage the impressive complexity of some really avantgarde / highly experimental acts either, thus all ending up lumped in a huge pile of really similar, homogenous sounding “angry” young dude’s sort of music that quickly tires. The only thing I remember from “Concentric Waves” is the drumming and some outro melody, since the overall impression of it isn’t all that great.
 
“Triangulation Through Impasse” has a riff that’s quite similar to a thousand other ones and only hooks me slightly because of some nice guitar melodies, here and there. Overall the singing is pretty unimpressive with the attempts at screaming while projecting some melody falling flat on their face pretty fast.
 
“Saviour Complex” is a vast improvement, as it comes up with some lengthy guitar interplays at the beginning, before a rather standard death-o-lodic verse that follows impacts… probably the most direct song on the album with a bit of a “Cavalera” vibe going on.
 
“Echoes 213” sounds like a bad prog exercise in vanity, while some constipated guy next door on the “throne” sounds just like every other screaming dude. Really the vocals seem to lack conviction and real fire and the overall mastering, although not bad, doesn’t help the production to breathe and project great dynamics, but I think it’s also largely because of the vocals that really seem to bog a large part of the recording as they are quite dominant but without the necessary punch. It’s sad, because I really like the guitar work on this track best.
 
Lastly, “Chronicity” is also an instrumental that acts as an outro and is all the better for the lack of vocals, obviously it’s not all that complex but still the repetitive nature that can be found almost everywhere else in the album, ultimately drags it down.
 
I suppose it comes with the territory and choice of style. While every local magazine that survives on band/company ads and every webzine will plainly suck ass to the band, I beg to differ. Without being bad, Tardive Diskenesia might be a big deal locally, for lack of any serious competition, but on an international level, they’d really struggle to float in the ocean of similar plasticore bands, to offer insta(nt)-gratification by these repetitive bursts of anger and energy. Only for longtime followers or for people who set the bar quite low and will listen to almost anything under a certain sub-genre, otherwise you’re very likely to feel largely unimpressed after the album is over and hardly remembering any parts at all…