Mp3: “A Skull Full of Bats”
Sometimes it takes a while (if ever) to really hit your stride and find the best musical voice with which to truly establish a given project. Such is the arc of Boston, MA’s DISAPPEARER. Originally conceptualized and active all the way back in 2003, Jebb Riley, Thomas Moses, and Ryan Begley formed DISAPPEARER out of the remains of the hardcore band THERE WERE WIRES (with Riley also simultaneously splintering off into the riff-crushing DOOMRIDERS). In their imp stages of development, DISAPPEARER came out as an instrumental band not far removed from the rapidly emerging PELICAN/ISIS genus. While competent and certainly good for what it was, there was an underlying suspicion in the listener that the trio had yet to tap into their full potential and truly unleash what seemed and felt like a stewing behemoth simmering beneath the surface.
The initial 2004 demo begat a formal EP on Providence’s Trash Art label in 2006 that was comprised of retooled demo songs and a newer, 12-minute opus documenting where the band was at in that particular moment. In spite of positive response from reviewers and listeners alike, the band continued to chip away at their sound, continuously refining and putting new elements to the litmus test. In the process, Begley relinquished drum duties and handed the ship over to Matt Spearin, effectively rounding out the current incarnation of the band.
It was at this point that things started to get REALLY interesting and DISAPPEARER truly tapped into a whole other level of songwriting and general attack. Gone were the instrumental showcases and meanderings. In entered a focused and infinitely more powerful, completely unique brand of fists-pounding-the-walls, no-turning-back post-hardcore. Imagine the power of NEUROSIS, the ire and angst of the final ENGINE KID 7″, the precise musicality and movement of QUICKSAND, and the bleak thematic temperament of JOY DIVISION… now focus on the uncontrollable physiological responses your body has had in listening to these juggernauts over the years. ALL of that (and more) await you in The Clearing, the first proper full length and imposing statement of purpose from DISAPPEARER.
Captured flawlessly-yet-viscerally by engineer/producer Kurt Ballou (CONVERGE, TRAP THEM, TORCHE), The Clearing puts DISAPPEARER in that rare air of having created an instant classic with their first proper album, one that will be passed down through the ages as a landmark recording that truly pushes heavy music forward. It strikes a harmonious balance of discordant guitar work, massive bass tone, soulful singing, and cathartic, purposeful drum striking… a truly cohesive ALBUM, the type that stays on a turntable or in a CD drive for months on end.
It may have taken six years to arrive, but The Clearing has given heavy music fans everywhere something to hold tightly for the rest of their lives.