Album Review: Divide and Dissolve – Abomination (2018 LP)

Unsettling string effects, followed by bone crunching percussion is the first punch Divide and Dissolve hit you with on their new album, Abomination. The aim and intent is clear: this is an album to challenge, to dismantle and to change perspective. The Melbourne duo have been forming for themselves a strong presence within local community and unsurprisingly, international opportunities have come calling for this strong, tense and forceful brand of heavy music.

Between Takiaya Reed and Sylvie Nehill, some beautiful music has been made, contrasting this album’s title entirely – Abomination. What we have here are eight instrumental tracks that have constructed a dark, brooding atmosphere; as I write this, I’m learning more about the influences behind Abomination‘s creation. Built off stories of their ancestors, water, rivers and forests, the record maintains a sense of eeriness. Whether it’s in the throttling bass of “Reparations”, or the spine-tingling “Resistance” (the album opener described above), Abomination strikes as an album with a lot of emotional terrain attached, to navigate.

“Cultural Extermination” and “Assimilation” are two album highlights for me; on one end of the spectrum, the thumping, heavy presence of drums and guitar dominates the soundscape and at the other, the pace picks up and threatens outright thrashing chaos.

Divide and Dissolve exist to empower. Here we have two people unafraid of making music in a genre dominated by a male-centric ethos and culture. Making music to empower people of colour and Indigenous communities while also tearing strips off the beast that is White Supremacy – an ugly one that continues to rear its head.

“Our existence represents their failure in their attempt to wipe us from our homelands.” the band has explained. “Every breath and step we take absolutely dismantles their frivolous efforts to extinguish Indigenous Sovereignty.”

If you’re a newcomer to Divide and Dissolve, welcome. If you’re a returning customer, you’re in for a ride.

Review Score: 8.0 out of 10.

Abomination is out now. 


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