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April 24, 2024

Dichotic "Lowest Common Denominator" Reviews

Dichotic - Lowest Common Denominator
(Discorporate Music, December 1999)

"Well, well, well. The beast from the East returns. As if their pummeling last record Collapse Into Despair [CoC #37] wasn't enough brutality for us Canucks to handle, Halifax, Nova Scotia heavies Dichotic return before the millennium with a totally barbaric assault of death metal madness. While equally as abrasive as Collapse Into Despair, Lowest Common Denominator is ten times more violent, with bottom of the barrel vocals meshed with razor-sharp riffs and tuned-down production encouraging this release to rip us apart. The band shows no remorse for what they end up doing to you with this harmful record. If you're craving brutal death metal, then this is the ticket. Yet again another great unknown band from Canada -- hopefully not for long."

- Adrian Bromley, Chronicles Of Chaos

Dichotic - Lowest Common Denominator

"Lowest Common Denominator is the follow-up to Collapse Into Despair, which scored a 7/10 in The Brave Underground issue #29 from April of last year. This time around, the cover art hardly reflects the music contained within. One would expect some alternative rumblings but oh no, Dichotic "churn out riff-laden death metal which pummels listeners with waves of sonic stupidity".

An improvement over the debut, many of the tracks however contain jarring, unexpected sections of musical absurdity which threaten to capsize the otherwise steadfast vessel. Taking an "avant garde" approach is commendable but redefining death metal is going to take more than this. Dichotic are unusual to say the least."

- Aaron Small, Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles

Dichotic - Lowest Common Denominator

"The progenitors of last year's phenomenal album Collapse Into Despair are back with a new bastard offspring just in time to herald the end of the millennium and if the doomsayers of the world needed any further proof that the end is near they need look no further than this new CD from DICHOTIC. This is the musical equivalent to the apocalypse. DICHOTIC create absolutely gigantic riffs this time around that will leave everyone but the most diehard death metal connoisseurs curled up in a fetal position. Wall of sound? How about the Great Wall of China of Sound. This is what death metal was meant to sound like. Low gurgling vocals that occasionally break into screeches. Intricate and mesmerizing guitar and bass work that is as sharp as it is technically stellar. Furious drums that flail away without mercy or respite. And all of this in support of well written tunes that are tighter than a Republican at a benefit for the homeless. DICHOTIC is never going to be the biggest band to emerge from Canada but they are sure making a case for being the best."

- Jeb Branin, The Crass Menagerie

Dichotic - Lowest Common Denominator
(Discorporate Music, 1999)

"Dichotic has undergone a slight change in sound from their previous album, Collapse Into Despair. Not so much bound by death metal, they have branched out, and brought in a healthy dose of grind. With that dose of grind has come a new sound - retarded death/grind. With songs about fisting, obsessive compulsive disorder, the stagnant state of music, and, of course, killing.

If you're a fan of Cephalic Carnage, this album is right up your alley, except, don't expect any songs about pot. Frantic drumming, tempo changes, incomprehensively growled vocals, with the occassional scream to bring in a little bit of high end, this CD is true brutal grind-death.

To further add to the insanity, this CD contains a multimedia section, with movie clips of the studio while the recording was taking place, some mp3's of early Dichotic and Cephalic (pre-Dichotic) material, as well as some bonus items you will have to discover for yourself."

- Chris Wagner, Ontario Metal Pages

Dichotic - Lowest Common Denominator

"From the bowels of Nova Scotia, DICHOTIC have returned with their newest offering of mathematically enhanced mayhem. Starting right where Collapse Into Despair left off, Lowest Common Denominator is perhaps one of the most brutal forms of malice this fan has heard in awhile.

Vocally, Raland Kinley is on top of his game, even more demonic and cruel with his over-the-top-deeper-than-deep-throat abusing style. While I feel Collapse Into Despair was a bit catchier, Lowest Common Denominator goes places that their debut couldn't. Not as poetic lyrically as their first full length, musically it has a tightness that demands attention from even the most discerned listener. This is a very experimental album. DICHOTIC try to go places death metal never dares to go. As you listen to the band abusing their instruments with talent and finesse, you can tell that there is a lot of shit going on. Trying to dissect it will only hurt the head. Listen to it as a whole and everything blends into a vicious and intense musical experience. If anyone has ever heard the sounds of Dan Swano's PAN THY MONIUM, then you have a vague idea about the style I'm talking about.

Beyond technical, some of the music seems jazz influenced. These five musicians might perhaps be some of the best in this genre with uniquely crafted songs like the EXIT-13ish "Fisting" and the straightforward "spilling;". Bizarre yet intriguing, brutal yet listenable, DICHOTIC'S Lowest Common Denominator is the cold wind blowing down from the North."

- Doug Rinaldi, the -BLASPHEMY- Pages

Dichotic - Lowest Common Denominator

"Experimental. Brutal. Jazzy. Just plain weird. These are but only some of the things that popped into my mind which describe this bunch of Nova Scotia grinders. Make no bones about it, this is death metal of the... um.. Nova Scotia variety, which bears somewhat of a resemblance to the Cali/L.A. style, or even the new GORGUTS.

Lowest Common Denominator is certainly not an album for those whom are easily affected by motion sickness. There's so much going on in every one of this album's 32 minutes, that it might make even the most seasoned death metal masochist feel a bit queasy, but in the best kind of way. The sheer amount of riffs jammed into every song could easily give CRYPTOPSY or DEEDS OF FLESH a run for their money. But to top it off, most of these riffs are just so damn sick that even Luc from GORGUTS may hurl if he can make it halfway through the album. Once or twice, you're lulled with some hints of thrashy rhythms, but then it's right back to the cacophony.

Sadly, the guitars ended up being fairly poorly produced. Not so much that they aren't audible, in fact quite the contrary, as you can clearly hear all of the (many) notes being played. But there's a distinct low end prevalence, and not enough high end crispness, all of which leads up to the guitars and bass coming dangerously close to each other in the frequency spectrum.

If "be original," is your mantra, then DICHOTIC are surely gurus whom you should worship with diligence. To compare this CD with anything else just wouldn't be fair. I suppose an equivalent to Lowest Common Denominator would be to put a rabid beaver in a dark sack, sticking your head in, and poking it with a sharp object to get it really riled up. The feeling you'd receive from that experience would roughly describe the "glow", you feel from listening to this album.

Do I like it? Yeah! But the term "not for everybody", could not be used in a better sense. This is death metal of the sickest musical type possible, and would probably send all the "Only DEICIDE and NOTHING heavier!" fans running for their life.

Not the faint of heart or weak of stomach. I love the CD, but if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go vomit."

- Duncan Schouten, Ottawa Metal Network

Dichotic - Lowest Common Denominator
Discorporate Music (1999)

"It's not death metal, it's not heavy metal and even rock-n-roll. And not to be confused by standard for rock band line-up: guitars, bass, drums and vocal. Even diligent growl by Raland Kinley hasn't driven me demented. It's rather some form of avant-garde jazz, which came into metal scene and gave deep roots thanks to Exit-13 and Cryptopsy. I hope you have understood from my tangled description what sort of music is on the Lowest Common Denominator. Constant breaks of rhythm typical to jazz or grindcore are falling on listener's head who was so careless to press The Play button; mind under confusion is being ironed out by guitar work; and if you're still survived then infuriated vocal will rip you apart. While reviewing a new work, it is supposed to compare it with previous releases of a band, for Dichotic it is Collapse Into Despair. Progress is obvious. Listen even if re-recorded version of "Unholy Exhumation". But in spite of those changes, Dichotic hardly will reach wide audience - mass consumer will rather listen just another opus of Machine Head or Dismember then Lowest Common Denominator. Dichotic will stay favorite of critics forever (I have no doubts, this album will enrapture them).

P.S. The "common consumer" will find on Lowest Common Denominator nice present in form of hidden track "Everyone on Halifax is Poser" done in vein of "Collateral Damage" by Brutal Truth."

- Dmitry, The Surly Sullen Bell e-zine

Dichotic - Lowest Common Denominator

"Holy christ this album is brutal. This band from Halifax, Nova Scotia delivers an extremely powerful and exciting album. Each song displays some super head smashing, skull cracking insanity that will leave you numb. This death metal band is not your ordinary, everyday band. They are extremly good musicians who's music comes across as something new. Ths album has hard hitting drums, excellent bass, twisted sounding guitars and devastating vocals. The closest band I think I could compare them to would be Converge if they started playing extreme death metal. The CD has excellent sound production and the insert has lyrics so that you can growl along. The CD is also a CD-ROM so you get to see Dichotic play a couple of songs live and at the studio. There is also an extra song in mp3 form that's not on the CD itself. So I suggest that you go and buy this CD.".

- Tracy, MetalPus

Dichotic - Lowest Common Denominator
Discorporate Music (1999)

"Dichotic's music isn't for those of the weak of heart. Or those who like melody, singing and songs which stick in your head for days. Dichotic say in their press release: "You don't want to hear it because it will probably go soaring right over your head" and I suppose that is the case here. Try as I might, I could barely get through this CD on one listen, let alone my usual standard of three before I review an album. All I hear are gurgling vocals, a flat, cruddy guitar tone with loose song structures and mediocre musicianship. There are absolutely no positives here that I can really endorse except the excellent artwork and advertising of this band. Perhaps those with more of a hardcore/grindcore/noisecore appreciation will find something of interest here, but this definitely doesn't do a thing for me."

- Painkiller, MetalView



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