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Album Reviews : Disperse – Foreword

By on January 9, 2017

a2633322351_10I rate this Polish act’s last album Living Mirrors among my favourite albums of all time, by anyone. So anticipation for the follow-up was possibly unreasonably high. Does it live up to the precedent set by that masterpiece? Let’s examine that question, shall we?

In fact, it’s probably a little unfair to rate and review something in the shadow of an illustrious predecessor, so I’ll get that out of the way initially and quickly: it probably doesn’t quite get there, but that’s purely because Living Mirrors is so stupendous. Viewed purely in isolation, Foreword is a superb statement, and ridiculously enjoyable in its own right.

It offers that conundrum that you experience on occasion, in that it can’t really be satisfactorily classified. It occupies a space purely of its own imagining. All odes to any kind of ‘heaviness’ that existed on Living Mirrors have been stripped away, leaving an album that cannot be categorised as metal, or even really ‘heavy’, in any way, shape or form whatsoever. That said, it doesn’t really sit comfortably in the ‘rock’ category either. It features tangible ‘pop’ moments too (check out Tether and Sleeping Ivy), but it is absolutely not a pop album.

Maybe the best way to describe it to the uninitiated is that Foreword is about as melodic and ear-pleasing as heavy music ever gets. Maybe it is all of the above things (and heaps more besides), rather than none? It is a magical, beautifully crafted heavy metal pop-rock album with uplifting songs, superb musicianship (especially from seven-string wunderkind Jakub Żytecki) and highly convincing moments of experimentation and beautiful ambience. Does it Matter How Far is just a marvel of unexpected structuring, an atmospheric slow-builder that takes you on an ethereal nine-minute plus journey into the beauty of sound. It takes mindblowing depths of imagination to create music of this kind.

This is truly progressive music in every sense of the word.

Foreword is glorious, deserves to be heard far and wide across the entire globe, and is a very early candidate for best album of 2017.

Band: Disperse
Album: Foreword
Year: 2017
Genre: Progressive Metal
Label: Season of Mist / Nerve Gas
Origin: Poland



Rod Whitfield is a Melbourne-based writer and retired musician who has been writing about music since 1995. He has worked for Team Rock, Beat Magazine,, Heavy Mag, Mixdown, The Metal Forge, Metal Obsession and many others. He has written and published his memoirs of his life and times in the music biz, and also writes books, screenplays, short stories, blogs and more.