Destrage – A Means To No End

Destrage for me are one of those few bands where you can say they’re doing their own thing.  Sure, there’s some people that will point to certain aspects of the group’s sound and compare certain nuances or flavours to other artists, but as a whole, that’s where the comparisons stop.  Fusing progressive and challenging song structures with good doses of hardcore and metal is just a general way to describe their sound, but when you delve into the band further and explore, that’s where it opens up to much more.  This was my discovery of the band when first hearing them with their third album “Are You Kidding Me?  No.” in 2014.  And although they have stayed somewhat low on the radar, they’ve obtained many dedicated fans in the process.  So with expectations high, the band have released their newest album “A Means To No End”.

Having listened to the album quite a bit, I notice a growth from the band.  And no, not something that indicates a downshift in their ability or a more commercial sensibility, but a real insistence on better song structure and being aware of where the song is not only going, but how to maintain the overall theme.  This isn’t to say that this point was lost on their previous work, but they’ve somehow found a way to tighten up and focus more.

The short album opener and title track with its acoustic guitar giving almost a slight middle-eastern flair shows we’re off to a slow and interesting start.  “Don’t Stare At The Edge” brings forth a sort of a metalcore approach with the guitar delivery, but it’s played with passion and dexterity.  The bombastic drum talent of Federico Paulovich works well with making each guitar note struck feel more pummeling than the last.  I feel like this song and the title track are just warming up the listener with a more straight-forward approach that fans aren’t used to with the band.  “Symphony Of The Ego” features multi-layered guitars starting out the proceedings while the syncopated madness continues in a more challenging delivery.  A more laid-back change in direction slows down the song at the end with some nice guitar/vocal melodies.  This song is helping to ramp up the album pace, which is making my excitement grow.  “Silent Consent” reminds me of the band I remember from the previous album with lots of demented shifts and time changes with an adrenaline-soaked rhythm section pounding out the instruments.  Drum theatrics and complicated riffs with “The Flight” and the up-tempo gem that is “Dreamers” keeps the energy in high gear for the most part, with a mid-paced groove and demented guitars keeping the interest at a peak.  “Ending To A Means” is highlighted by haunting and laid-back guitar slides which create a relaxed ambiance.  It’s a great song to put at the mid-point of the album to give us all a little breather before getting back down to business.

“Peacefully Lost” is as vocally dynamic as I’ve heard on this album, showing great range from Paolo Colavolpe, which lends beautifully to the amazing progressive tendencies that this band has become known for.  The song shows off rich melodies with all the technical proficiency I was hoping for, weaving both styles seamlessly.  A standout track for sure.  “Not Everything Is Said” is short, sweet, and to the point with it’s memorable choruses and woven guitars, while “To Be Tolerated” with its frenzied riffing and emotional vocals keep the pace going.  “Blah Blah” should appeal to the djent crowd with the punchy and brief notes and noodly background guitar.  Even with that overtone, it still fits with the rest of the album’s demeanor.  “A Promise, A Debt” is relaxed with multi-layered vocals in it’s short time frame, which leads us into the album closer “Abandon To Random”.  The song is very controlled and shows off disciplined song structure with the technical aspects all in place, but this track sums up the maturity and growth that the band has developed since “Are You Kidding Me?  No.”, rounding out all the great aspects from their current album all into one song.

I was initially worried that the first few songs were going to represent the whole album’s sound, but it served as perfect song placement by the band in arranging the final tracklist.  Those songs warmed me up and got me more eager to hear where the album was going.  The great thing about this band is that unlike some experimental metal bands which sound jumbled at times with their sound and use a cut and paste mentality when assembling a song, Destrage has main building blocks to a composition which allow them to go wild while giving them the ability to return to the main point of the song.

Everybody tries to say “they sound like this band” or try to pinpoint their sound from what I’ve read in response to their career thus far, but to be honest, you can’t nail down an exact band that they sound exactly like, which is rare these days.  There are influences I hear, like The Dillinger Escape Plan, Sikth and Protest The Hero, but that’s just little fleeting bits and pieces and by no means are they lifting riffs and patterns from them, this is just a matter of comparison.  But they are original to my ears, and that’s hard for me to admit about a lot of metal bands these days.  And with “A Means To No End”, their evolution gives them even more reason to be called original.

 

Tracklist:

01. A Means To No End
02. Don’t Stare At The Edge
03. Symphony Of The Ego
04. Silent Consent
05. The Flight
06. Dreamers
07. Ending To A Means
08. Peacefully Lost
09. Not Everything Is Said
10. To Be Tolerated
11. Blah Blah
12. A Promise, A Debt
13. Abandon To Random

Playing time: 55:50

Release date: 21 October, 2016

Label: Metal Blade Records

Website: Destrage Official Website

Liam Savage
About Liam Savage 62 Articles
I've always enjoyed metal music, but only had that real breakthrough moment while watching music videos on TV, and Pantera's "Mouth For War" and Sepultura's "Arise" came on back-to-back. This started a love affair and passion for metal that has happened since the early 90's. Since then, I've amassed quite a large CD collection, have written for Unrestrained! magazine in the early 2000's, and after taking about a ten year break from writing, joined "Power Of Metal" in 2016. My favourite sub-genres in metal are Progressive, Technical, Death, Power, Folk, Experimental and more.

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