Mar 162023

(Andy Synn guides you through the twists and turns of the new album from Ottawa’s Dissentient)

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the corruptive influence of the profit motive… how difficult it makes it to believe that anything that’s written can ever be impartial (and I know there’s a whole other argument to be had over objectivity, or the lack thereof, in reviewing music) once you realise that every feature, every review, every cover photo, comes with a potential price tag attached.

It’s one reason (among many) that I consider myself lucky to write here. None of the three of us who still form the core team – Islander, DGR, and myself – make any money from the site, nor do we have any advertisers to please or specific print deadlines to meet, and so we’re free to write about what we want, when we want.

Now, to be clear, I’m not trying to tear down print media wholesale – as someone who used to write for a physical magazine I’m fully aware of the complexities which need to be balanced in order to both serve your readers not just what they want, but also what you think they need, while still remaining solvent (or not) – I’m simply laying out a case for why you can (and should) trust us.

Hell, we don’t even write to please the bands themselves (there’ve been a few times when people have gotten pissy with us because we didn’t blindly praise them enough) and have, in fact, alienated a few labels and PR firms in the past with our refusal to just dole out perfect scores to anything and everything that comes our way.

Long story short… believe me when I say that you won’t regret checking out Dissentient‘s new album.

Continue reading »

Aug 282019


(Andy Synn reviews the new album by Dissentient from Ottawa, Canada, which was released on August 23rd.)

It’s very easy these days to become jaded and cynical when one is confronted by the sheer amount of music out there, much (if not most) of which offers only the slightest variation on the same old tired themes.

It sometimes seems that, instead of the proposed “infinite variety, in infinite combinations” which the future once promised, we are instead assailed by an endless array of copycats and sound-alikes whose entire purpose seems to be simply regurgitating things we’ve already heard in ever more dumbed-down and easily digestible forms stripped of all their subtlety and nuance.

But, every once in a while, if you’re very lucky (or very persistent), you stumble across an album which reminds you that, sometimes, all it takes is a slight tweak, or a slightly different perspective, to make something otherwise familiar feel utterly vital and vibrant once again.

Thus, Dissentient. Continue reading »