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Dirge - Vanishing Point

Vanishing Point
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 01 March 2021, 11:25 AM

DIRGE formed in France in 1994. Their latest album here “Vanishing Point” is more of a “best of” compilation, because according to the Metal Archives, the band is split up. The album contains thirteen tracks. “Wounded Chakras” leads off the album. It opens with slow drum beats and some background noise. The main riff drops, and it’s heavy and aggressive, and a hypnotic rhythm begins to develop. The vocals are absolutely vile. There is a tinge of an Industrial sound for me from the continuation of the sterile sound.

“S.N.T.D.F.” opens in a similar manner, with light background noise and some hammer strikes. Low and slow bass guitar notes carry the opening, then the guitar riff busts through the fences, shattering the metal into pieces. There is just a bit more going on here than in the previous track, like the two ambient pauses for example. “Bastard” begins with some spoken word and slow bass and guitars. It begins a slow crescendo as the sound starts to pick up. “East” is a lengthier song, cueing in on some despondence in the guitars. It opens up, then closes back down again. Here is where you get some of the Post elements, as trippy lead guitars come into play.

“The Coiling” is a ten-minute beast, beginning with soft clean guitars. Three minutes in, and the rage takes over. A long ambient pause leads to more rage at towards the end of the song, where eerie guitar notes take presence. “Submarine” is a 16-minute opus. It’s nearly five-minutes before we get some distorted guitars. A chugging, slow pace ensues. It builds in layers then drops…picking back up towards the end with some melodies. “A Short Term Effect” is in attack mode from the opening notes, but definitely allows some lighter melodies to develop as well. As it lumbers forward, it begins a slow fade-out to completion. “Sine Time Oscillations” begins with some spacey sounds, and slow, clean guitars. It stays on this path throughout the song. It’s very depressing.

“Meure Menace (Dirge Remix)” also opens with slow and sad clean guitars. It settles into a nice little groove before distorted guitars take over. The eerie sounds are quite pronounced as it rolls forward. “Below (Twist of the Knife)” is another lengthy song. It’s two minutes in before we get some combination of clean and distorted guitars along with some sporadic screams and soft spoken words. The desolation is so pronounced and it wears on your spirit after a while. “Absence” is a short, four-minute song that slowly begins to pick up in sonority. When it finally reaches a full sound, it’s over. “Distance” is over nine-minutes in length. Again, building slowly, with crunchy riffs and a barren, lonely sound, like you are the only person alive on the planet, and the remnants of nuclear fallout grey the skies.

“A Rebours” opens with soft and somewhat playful melodies, but there is a darkness lurking in the background. The darkness fades, and returns, along with echoing spoken words. The Post elements come through strong here, as it charges full bore to the ending. “Carrion Shrine” is the seven-minute closing song. It begins with some Industrial sounds and eventually some stalwart lead guitar notes. Three-minutes in, and the despondent tones are turned up to 11. Dark, cold and godforsaken, this music is in my mind ahead of its time. I dare say that I know know where GOJIRA may have drew much of their inspiration from. You have to let the songs develop, as most are very long, and be careful that the frigid sounds don’t numb you into death. It’s like the waking moments after the world ended due to nuclear destruction. Somehow you survived, but it appears no one else did, and your doom is foreshadowed.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Wounded Chakras
2. S.N.T.D.F.
3. Bastard
4. East
5. The Coiling
6. Submarine
7. A Short Term Effect
8. Sine Time Oscillations
9. Meure Menace (Dirge Remix)
10. Below (Twist of the Knife)
11. Absence
12. Distance
13. A Rebours
14. Carrion Shrine
Luz – Bass
Marc T. – Guitars, Vocals, Programming
Alain B. – Drums
Stéphane L. – Guitars
Record Label: Division Records


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