Released on Green Bronto Records on 1 July 2022.
For fans of Lamb of God, Parkway Drive, Bleed From Within.
While the latter half of last year was more or less a write off, there are still a few releases from 2022 that I fell in love with and feel it would be a huge disservice not to review. First up in that category is this fabulous EP from Iranian groove metal band Thy Dispraise which really helped get me through the worst health crisis of my life, last year.
According to my Last.fm account, I’ve listened to this EP at least 17 times during the last few months. It is one of those records that once it finishes, I just play it again.
“Follow your dreams is the best piece of advice I was ever given,” says Abtin Zahed, founder and leader of Thy Dispraise for good reasons. The band started out in 2012 in Iran where free expression of art is impossible.
Over years in this oppressive environment, they forged and shaped their musical style of groove metal and metalcore. Meanwhile, Singer Alireza Shafiei, master of brutal shouts and growls is the perfect counterpart to Sheyda Mohammadi and her mesmerizing clean voice. Guitarist Mohammadreza Rezaei eventually added his shredding skills and composing expertise as the missing part of the puzzle.
In 2021, their debut album, Lost Era’ was released and achieved critical acclaim. Attentive listeners will notice a Persian theme in our songs says Sheyda. The lyrics mirror the struggles a human identity endures at different stages of life. Lately, some of them left their homeland Iran due to government issues and started a new life in Turkey.
About the tracks, band leader Abtin Zahed says, ‘These three songs are about the situation that we all are in. A new world that is full of lies and we all are burning in it. “Ignited by Lies” (track 1) is about our new world that makes us slaves and we are prisoners who don’t feel it and we will be ignited by all the lies that are around us.
The track opens with a driving riff and Sheyda Mohammadi’s mesmerisingly beautiful vocals, soon to be joined by Alireza Shafiei’s gruff, barking vocals. It’s like a perfect blend of Lamb of God meets Evanescence. The song writing is mature and the production clear and punchy. There is a quiet, melodic hiatus around two-thirds of the way through that is lifted straight from the Amy Lee playbook, but it’s beautiful and provides a perfect contrast to the heavy music that engulfs it either side.
‘”Rising Inside” (track 2) is about our awakening. We suddenly see that there is nothing left from the world, and we just see nothing. Just ashes of dreams and emptiness and deep inside we want to rise.
“Rising Inside” opens with an echo-y, staccatoed riff overlaid with breathy female half-spoken vocals from Sheyda Mohammadi. There are some definite nods to middle eastern melodies and scales scattered throughout this track, which is perhaps why I love it so much. It has an almost progressive feel as it twists and turns from one distinct section to the next, all the while teetering on the edge between still contemplation and uncontrolled madness.
‘The last track “Out of the Shadows” (track 3) is about our redemption after awakening. Now we know the lies. Now we know what is behind this. Now we are fighters who come out of the darkness and reach for true light. We recorded these tracks in Iran, before our departure to Turkey. We hope that one day we can be together again. We are working on new songs, and they will be ready soon.’
The EP closes with a saw-like riff that promptly races at a gallop towards the most D. Randall Blythe-like gruff vocals on the record. But these are soon joined by the glorious, soaring melodies of Sheyda Mohammadi whose voice cuts through like sunshine breaking through dark clouds. There is a steadiness and reliability to this song that makes it a perfect closing track as it fades to silence.
I have loved listening to this EP over and over again. Each listen offers something new: a new melody, a new texture, a new guitar riff to discover. Picking up on the cover art, it is like walking through a forest on a summer’s day with the sunshine reflecting different colours and textures. Brialliant!
I want to hear more. I want to hear an album. But while I am waiting for those, I might just give this EP one more listen.
Review score: 95%
Full EP streamed from the record label’s YouTube channel.