Released: 2006, Metal Blade Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Disillusion’s GLORIA…wow. There have been some major mis-steps in music history but this one is just…wow. After receiving almost universal praise for their Metal Blade debut, 2004’s brilliantly eclectic BACK TO TIMES OF SPLENDOR, the German band decided to go in a direction that can only be described as System of A Down-meets-Rammstein-meets-Euro ambient. Schmidt’s vocals had eerie similarities to those of Serj Tankian before so that is no surprise here. What is surprising is how the jazz, death metal and other elements are gone from BACK TO TIMES OF SPLENDOR and replaced here with processed, spoken word vocals, downtuned riffs and a nutty mix of unlistenable styles. Either this is a cruel joke or one of the biggest tailspins of the year.
Despite a promising start with the invariably catchy “The Black Sea,” things go wrong almost immediately as “Dread It” features the exact same Bernard Herrmann-inspired intro as the opening track. Furthermore, the droning, spoken vocals and quirky, nu-metal riff echo System of A Down to a tee. “Don’t Go Any Further” appears to be a four-minute phone conversation/confessional by Schmidt that simply entails repeating the song title over and over again. The instrumental piece “Aerophobic” is a frustrating mess of rave beats and samples that Mortiis wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. “Avalance” and “The Hole We Are In” continue down the river of a less eccentric System of A Down but “Too Many Broken Cease Fires” is a blatant rip-off, right down to the chugging riffs and choppy vocal cadence. A leaking faucet drips throughout album closer “Untiefen” and it may well be a metaphor for the high hopes bestowed upon Disllusion going right down the drain.
After repeated listens (including a revisit to BACK TO TIMES OF SPLENDOR), I am still in shock over how bad GLORIA is. What Disillusion was thinking in creating this abomination fails me but the album is surely going to be viewed as a major disappointment, especially after BACK TO TIMES OF SPLENDOR. There is an old saying in the music business that “You are only as good as your last album.” It is almost as if Disilluion was in that person’s mind. Avoid at all costs.
KILLER KUTS: “The Black Sea”