Every so often, I find myself in a bit of a quandary. For the most part, I am not the biggest fan of what I would call avant-garde or experimental metal; in fact, if you read my past reviews you will notice a sort of trend. Most avant-garde music seems to me to be that way for the sake of shock value or to see how far the limits can be pushed and the product can still be called music. Most often, in my never so humble opinion, this is not a successful venture and the disc ends up being virtually un-listenable, at least in my world.

I said all that to say, the newest release, Somewhere at the Bottom of The River Between Vega & Altair, from La Dispute is an exception. This disc is a full on aural assault that really hits you like a ton of bricks. However, the band keeps things interesting and fresh by adding completely original and at times odd vocal arrangement. The delivery is unlike almost anything I have ever heard. Although it may be the only key thing that sets them apart from the rest of the modern metal pack, it makes the songs quite impressive and downright memorable.

I am not sure what the real reason I dig this record is because as I said it is a bit of a contradiction to some of my previous reviews where I have been very hard and critical of other bands in this same genre. Whatever the case, just like I cannot explain why I like a certain flavor of ice cream, (vanilla in my case) and not others, I really dig this CD.

Some of my favorite tracks on this disc are “Fall Down, Never Get Back Up” and “Such Small Hands” both of which are very good examples of the unique vocal prowess of vocalist Jordan Deyer. I do not know how to explain it but the delivery other than to say it is drenched in passion and emotion. Musically La Dispute runs the gamut from punk to metal to metalcore and everything in between. They pretty much defy being defined.

The whole package from the title of the disc to the song titles and the music itself is way out there, but if you are looking for something a bit off the beaten path that is still listenable and enjoyable, give this one a try. It truly is unique.

Track Listing:

01. Such Small Hands
02. Said The King To The River
03. New Storms For Older Lovers
04. Damaged Goods
05. Fall Down, Never Get Back Up
06. Bury Your Flame
07. Last Blues For Bloody Knuckles
08. The Castle Builders
09. Andria
10. Then Again Maybe You Were Right
11. Sad Prayers For Guilty Bodies
12. The Last Lost Continent
13. Nobody, Not Even The Rain

Run Time: 51:38
Release Date: November 11, 2008