Rise of Dissension, or R.O.D. as some call them, hail from Kingston ON and are composed of Doug Smith (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), Andrew Simmons (lead and rhythm guitars, vocals, percussion) and Landon Chatterton (drums and percussion); also, when they play live, Darren McLean plays bass. Each member is well known and respected in the local metal scene here in the Belleville and Kingston area, so when this group came together there was a buzz locally.
On “Lord of the Damned” the band uses solid riffs and BLS style vocal approaches to great effect. Later it becomes more crunchy with pummeling drums and fantastic lead work. “Preach” has an early Lamb of God or Pantera feel and some galloping guitars and gang vocals. Next up, “Mend” showcases the band’s talent for writing great hard rocking songs with great musicianship, as heard by the solo midway through and Alice in Chains inspired vocals.
For a band the makes its home locally they are far from a one trick pony. Later on Rise of Dissension the band begins as a doom and Middle Eastern classic riff monster and then dives into power metal riffs and a solo with lots of wah-wah. Just when the metal fan’s ears think the album is over you get “Away from Me,” where the band turns into a perfect representation of a successful 90’s hard rock or metal band by writing a perfect ballad that bands likes “Puddle of Mudd” wish they would have written and which contains a ripping solo from Andrew. Lastly R.O.D. plays a song that could have been mistaken for the work of either Municipal Waste or Toxic Holocaust. I’m talking about “Torch the Nuns”; it contains a vicious thrash attack that is fun and modern.
The production here is exceptionally crisp and clean. It does wonders representing how tight and musically talented the group is. All instruments and members share their own spaces, drums are bold, pummeling and machine like, vocals are clean powerful and relatable, while guitars are crushing, powerful and shredding. I might liken this recording and production sound to one of the big releases of the 90’s from Machinehead, Godsmack, Sevendust or Helmet. But if you really want to enjoy yourself and this type of music, go see this group live and enjoy their take on Kiss’s “War Machine” which is coincidentally the final and bonus track on the album.
(Independent release, 2014)