Disperse take elements from both old and new progressive music and incorporate them into their thoroughly modern take on the style.
Complexity, syncopation and unexpected time signature changes are well-represented on Foreword, although this is not as technical a release as some bands playing this kind of thing, and these elements are relatively subtle in execution. Disperse are also far less inaccessible and harsh than some similar bands can be – here the progressive music is fashioned into remarkably accessible, uplifting songs, with little of the darker, angrier side of metal that’s so commonly seen.
The band have an interesting ability to smooth over some of the more spikey, technical aspects of the guitars, resulting in songs that largely flow smoothly over the progressive waters that they sail on.
This is an album full of moods and textures, all carefully crafted around the band’s bright, impressive vision for their music. It’s atmospherically rich, layered in sounds and noises all designed to entrance, enthral and captivate. It works, too.
The vocals are memorable and luscious, with strong melodies and harmonies in abundance. Their singer has a talented voice, for sure, and he’s put to good work across these 50 or so minutes.
Disperse remind me of a less over-the-top version of some of Devin Townsend’s more extravagant progressive work, blended with quite a few other elements. These include a British-feeling technical metal influence; atmospheric aspects from a band like Deftones; and some parts which seem blatantly inspired by commercial pop. All of this and more combines in Foreword to create forward-thinking progressive music that treads an interesting line between commercial accessibility, progressive depth, modern complexity, and a sublime beauty.
Foreword is an unexpected treat.