Album Review: TWITCHING TONGUES Disharmony
Trial and error is a band's best friend towards breakthrough territory. While it would be overreaching to consider their previous two releases to be blunders, they certainly were the rough drafts to the final, mature quality of this genuinely original third album.
Hailing from the land of musical growth and debauchery, this LA-based quintet have nabbed their Metal Blade Records debut. Brothers Colin and Taylor Young formed Twitching Tongues in 2009 adding guitarist Leo Orozco, bassist Kyle Thomas, and drummer Michael Cesario to the current lineup. For many, it may be the first time hearing of the group as Disharmony shows the group confidently emerging from the shadows to reveal their true colors.
Right off the bat, listeners will pick up on the unorthodox vocal delivery via opening title track. Colin Young's croons and screams ride the flow of the riff in heavy metal Dio fashion while possessing High on Fire sludge pizzazz. As for the musical aspect, a conglomerate of alternative and melodic hardcore are pieced together dramatically. It is also safe to assume that the outright incomparable traits of this song will allow this piece to be the stand-out track in regards to the whole album, but also the key to pushing the group farther to mainstream fame. Fortunately, this peaking single is not the only noteworthy composition.
Melodies inch closer to conventional with the next coming few tracks, "Insincerely Yours" and "Asylum Avenue" being the the attention grabbers. The former riding the catchy hook-train as the latter meshes heavy attributes with smooth verses. "Love Conquers None" also comes close to holding formulaic elements, however spices up the blueprint with some acoustic segments and a crushing, old-school guitar solo. "Insatiable Sin" layers on groove metal to the already stacking style list. Luckily for the genre-greedy listeners, the diversity has just begun.
A doom tempo intro transitions to thrash speed on "Cannibal," building up to the heinously powerful, "you fucked yourself trying to fuck me" verse lyric. "Sacrifice Me" touches on the Mastodon side with percussion-driven build-ups to crushing riffs. For those familiar with the group's past work, "Arrival" is a continuation of "Departure" from 2013's In Love There Is No Law and is heavily pushed into goth territory with brooding Type O Negative/The Cure vocals. Their knack for infectious melodies begin to fade around "The End of Love," but the intensity still prevails. The closer, "Cruci-Fiction," acts as the conclusive ending of the entire LP with downtuned stoner jamming, fast-paced rhythmic beats, and an atmospherical organ outro stuffed into a final eight minutes.
The ability to be eclectic is sometimes a tough pill to swallow in the metal community. You're either this or that and for the love of all that is brutal, don't draw outside of the lines! After all, Rule #85 of The Metalhead's Handbook limits a band to only two and half musical styles to dabble with in one sitting. Sarcasm aside, the past decade has begun to gently open the floodgates to experimentation and acceptance of genre cross-breeding. Counting back, it seems I have mentioned eight different metal genres in the course of this review and to that I say hoorah to Twitching Tongues for pushing boundaries.
As a whole, Disharmony is truly impressive, yet in the most strange way possible. Labeling Twitching Tongues as purely hardcore or solely as alternative metal, would not be doing their material justice. Every stylistic shift that is seamingly laced through this web of genres shouts originality.