This might be the most difficult review I’ve ever had to write because it’s amazingly frutstrating thinking of different ways to say ‘bland’, ‘generic’ and ‘boring’. If you haven’t already guessed I wasn’t too thrilled by Desolated’s Disorder of Mind and over its 5 tracks the EP did very little to make me think Desolated had any interesting ideas of their own.
Desolated make metalcore but they do it with the sort of metal-meets-hardcore swagger that bands like Hang the Bastard do so well. The difference is Desolated have hardly any melody on display and it’s because of this that the band end up churning out 5 very samey, very dull metalcore songs.
The band structure their songs like this: a constant, one-chord breakdown plays and each chord is punctuated with a bass-drum hit. Vocalist Paul Williams screams some words over everything and in between the one-chord breakdowns guitarist Rich Unsworth occasionally writes something that’s almost like a thrash metal riff. Every song on Disorder of Mind follows this pattern and the almost complete lack of melody and over-reliance on breakdowns makes it a tiresome experience.
The big issue I have with it is Unsworth proves he can write memorable guitar riffs as those small glimpses of thrash-metal are quite promising. Sadly it isn’t too long before we’re back in one chord territory. I can almost visualise the band posturing on stage and shouting at the audience to “open up this pit”. My face is thoroughly in my palms.
Desolated have worked themselves into a rut on Disorder of Mind. Because Williams relies on screaming, this EP needed some catchy riffs to give the listener something to sink their teeth into. What we get is breakdown after breakdown and it’s a repetitive and unvaried slog through music that wasn’t really made to be listened to. This is mosh music through and through and while that’s fine for the sort of audience Desolated are attracting in a live environment it doesn’t make for a compelling listen on record. If Unsworth moved away from the breakdowns and showcased exactly how good his riffs can be this EP could have been saved, but unfortunately we’ll have to wait until next time to see if that hope can become a reality.
Desolated’s Disorder of Mind is out now and available to buy direct from the band on 12″ vinyl and CD.