The Dissident Youth – Self-Titled

Release Date: 30th September 2017

Label: Self released

Hailing from Carlisle The Dissident Youth have been making waves in the local metal scene over the past few months. Their self-titled debut album was released late last month and is a strong showcase for the band’s abilities. Though it is clearly rooted in a heavier sound, across it’s 9 tracks it touches upon influences of Death Metal, Metalcore, Thrash and even a smattering of Prog.

The album kicks off with My Apocalypse which wastes no time in getting things going. This track is a clear declaration of intent from the band demonstrating their musical chops but also the sentiment of much of their songs subject matter, exemplified about 3 minutes in with the spoken words ‘When tyrants rule the Free World it’s time we take it back’. A phrase which is used in an incantatory style layered over instrumentation building to a heavy crescendo. My Apocalypse sets the bar high as an impressive opener.

The next couple of tracks remain in the same register musically. The Sniper maintains the same forceful delivery with thrashy overtones and some interesting guitar work which sustain the songs momentum. Third track The Cruelty is the first song to introduce more of a sung style of vocal which sits well among the breakdowns and is demonstrative of the vocal range of the singer.

As the album progresses The Dissident Youth’s propensity for varying the layout of their songs and incorporating differing styles becomes apparent. More than Money has a drum part that sits on the offbeat sounding almost as if it will fall out of time with the scratchier guitar but holds together, creating a slightly dissonant feel. 

It is on the sixth track  Bury the Giant that the more diverse influences become discernible. Rhythmically this is a complex song that melds the shouty Death metal style vocals with some unexpected drums thrown underneath creating an interesting dynamic which veers between solid wall of sound and an almost funky groovy undercurrent. There is even the sparing use of a cowbell.

The experimentation of Bury the Giant then leads into what is probably the most unusual track on the album House of Greed. This song functions as a microcosm of how varied the band are willing to be. If you were to isolate the many sections they may not seem like they would comprehensibly hang together but the whole is more than the sum of its parts. It begins with a slightly off kilter beat, bordering on glitchcore at one point. Later on the song has a part that breaks down with a proggy sounding guitar part and at one point cuts out to a tight short drum solo that wouldn’t be out of place as a dance music break. 

The last two tracks Watch and Conflict return proceedings to a more conventional layout. However this is done once again with dexterity and an eye to not getting bogged down in sounding too formulaic. Conflict concludes the album, the song beginning in much the same vein as the record started, hammering out well structured slickly produced metal with the slight air of Slayer to the riff before rounding off with a slower outro and the repetition of the phrase  ‘it burns inside me’.  

All the songs on the album are interestingly segmented with shifts in tempo, sound, vocal register, beats and riffs which could potentially sound muddy if not kept tight. Fortunately this is not the case as The Dissident Youth have evidently put the time into developing an album that is rooted in traditional metal idioms but is willing to play around with them encompassing a range of approaches. All of which is undertaken with an evident level of musical prowess. This is to their credit as it lifts what might otherwise be a well executed but more standard album into an altogether more interesting proposition.  

Recommended track: House of Greed.

b: 7.5/10

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