NOVEMBER 7th 2013
Review by Anka

UK’s Swords of Dis is a relatively new band that labels itself as avant-garde metal.  From this point on, I know some of you might be tempted to check them out, just because there’s so much that this “genre” can encompass.  But hurry not – if what you expect is some über-bombastic mix of elements that will blow your mind. Their new release “Tides of Malediction” might be some people’s cup of (English) tea but to be honest it left me pretty unclear about what to like and what not to like. There is a solid dark metal base layer to their music which is in fact pretty nice,  but the rest of the dissonance you have to bear just for the sake of a few good riffs might determine you to abandon the album altogether. At times it feels like it's all improvised or that it’s lacking some direction. Add to that a slight prog and folk-ish feel - but the music doesn’t sound like that at all. I guess this is why you have to call this “avant-garde”.
The band definitely likes to experiment but my first impression was that of chaos. The psychosis and the surreal discordance start building up pretty early in the album, and eventually you are left begging and pleading for a “release” into consonant harmonies. And when those happen, I am not sure it’s a satisfying result unless this is exactly the kind of music you really love to hear. There is a dark feeling and a somber atmosphere but the prominence of the vocals sort of breaks the spell here. Nothing too diverse is happening on the vocal front and that might, oddly enough, create a feeling of stagnation in the entire flow.
It’s quite tough to form an opinion on this, after all we have quite a lot of beautiful elements here but my feeling is that they haven’t been well assembled together. In addition, it feels like they try too hard to create something out of the ordinary. In the end, I can definitely consider it a good effort for a debuting band but I am not sure I would be eagerly awaiting their next release.