Cinematic metal quintet Disconnected Souls will release their debut conceptional album, Fragments of Consciousness, on January 19th, 2024. From adventures in gothic fantasy realms to deadly club settings to a dystopian celebration of the world’s end, Disconnected Souls deliver an intriguing take on the human experience.
Matthew Simon Fletcher AKA Fletch (guitars, keys, bass, programming and backing vocals) openly acknowledges that this debut album isn’t an easy listen and that it might leave a lot of people ‘positively baffled’ by what’s going on. I mention this because it is 100% true. However, he also hopes that the listener will agree that Disconnected Souls fulfilled their objectives of producing something different, and that the listener will feel enriched for having had the experience, be it positive or negative. Which is also 100% true.
Fragments of Consciousness is very unique and very challenging, where there are tracks that I like and tracks that I don’t. Where some segments and sections impress, and others disappoint. Where the amalgamation of ideas can be thrilling, but also sound like everything but the kitchen sink being thrown in. I mean, as far as doing what they want and how they want, Fragments of Consciousness is undisputedly a great success.
It all comes down to personal taste here, and what some love, others will hate. Exemplified by the opener Delirium, which is a mass of heavy technical intensity, abrasive electronica, and cinematic richness. It’s easy to make a judgement here, but bear in mind, this album is all about variety and it does pass the hour mark overall, so there is so much more to come.
How about Dissonant Whispers? A very dramatic hard rock epic that really lets the vocals of guitarist Holly Royle shine. Or Petrichor? A track with so much cinematic value, it could appear on the soundtrack of a drama film, a thriller, or a romance, and no-one would bat an eyelid. Or maybe Loveless? A track that has heavy and intense chaos parts but utilises some really jarring effects that may end up getting on some listener’s nerves.
It’s all just part of the Disconnected Souls package. A band that is legitimately impossible to pigeonhole. Their eccentricities are equally a good thing and a bad thing. The former because there is no-one quite like them making music right now, but the latter because it is such polarising music.
One of the best tracks on the album, in my opinion, is Symbiont because the combination of metal and electronica works so well together here. It also happens to be one of the more frenetic offerings too. Although it would be remiss of me if I didn’t also mention the charming melodies of Silence of the Doves and the video game/anime like style of Iyashikei. Weird, and a little bit freaking wonderful.
Make your own mind up but be prepared to be left confounded by what you hear. Even if you don’t like it, you can at least admit that Disconnected Souls have done something that lives up their promises of cinematic metal, albeit from a seriously avant-garde stance.
Disconnected Souls – Fragments of Consciousness Track Listing:
2. Dissonant Whispers
3. Plague Rats
7. Human Error
9. Silence of the Doves
11. Monachopsis (A Waltz at the End of the World)
Disconnected Souls - Fragments of Consciousness (Self Released)
The Final Score - 6/10