Disquiet - Instigate To Annihilate

Disquiet’s third full length album “Instigate To Annihilate” is their masterpiece for 2022. If listeners are looking for a group that blends thrash with death metal- almost in a melodeath style similar to that of Darkane or Soilwork- then this is worth checking out. This Netherland group has been around a while, since the early 2000s, but didn’t really get their start until their debut in 2011 which cranked out solid thrash with death metal influences, but none of the songs really ‘popped.’

Here on “Instigate To Annihilate” there is a lot of grabbing material whether it be the catchy riffs, vocal hooks, or solid head banging moments. Right from the opening ‘Rise Of The Sycophants’ one can tell this not going to be typical Slayer or Testament worship. The groove is present in the riffs but the mid pace of the music carries along easily and while somewhat clunky at times, the chugging guitars along with the drums are very Dew Scented influenced at times. Vocals mix between the harsh but discernable snarls and also more melodic clean vocals that border almost power metal, but are more at home with more recent Soilwork fans. Then there are the faster more Darkane influenced tracks like ‘Demonic Firenado’ that might seem a little tongue in cheek with the song title, but the sound lives up to its name as the group aims for more of a thrash death metal style with the clean vocals only used for melodic harmonizing, which works well for support, and doesn’t take away from the heaviness. ‘Designed To Violate’ is more of a balance between soft and heavy with more use of the cleans but the riffs and drumming take more of a melo death direction, stepping away from the typical thrash chug for a darker, more forebody sound with the drawn out riffs and overall a bit more of a relaxed pace compared to some of the later tracks. It might not be what Disquiet fans are used to but it again helps the band land more in the more mainstream, metal-friendly arena as opposed to sounding so raw and underground.

‘Wrecked’ is a little bit of a surprise track as it features guest vocals from Vicky of The Agonist who lends both her own harsh and clean ones. It is a bit of a change for Disquiet and for new fans especially it might seem a little confusing as a random female vocalist suddenly comes in out of nowhere, but it works very well and gives both artists more promotion/ exposure (unlike Agathodaimon’s “Serpent’s Embrace” album and the guest vocals from Ruth of Ophelia just were completely different and not really suited for the melodic black metal outfit at the time; today might be different with the direction they’ve gone in recently). So fans are going to love or hate the track but it is worthy of being considered one of the highlights of the album.

Of course the band probably felt the ‘softness’ of 'Wrecked' was enough so they kick back into high gear with most of the rest of the album. ‘No Moral Dignity’ delves right back into the heavier death thrash territory that is more like their earlier work. It isn’t quite Vader heavy- think more Legion of the Damned heavy- but it is more of the heavier side of the group and will please older fans for sure while inciting newer listeners to stir up the pit. ‘Destroyance’ adds more melody with the guitars and less of a thrash chug, but still keeps the vocals heavy (even the cleans lose their melodic edge and have more of that gravelly rasp to them, which is more akin to Slayer style thrash). ‘Sicario’ is more of a groove thrash piece with its thumping pace but still doesn’t lose any steam with its approach and is sure to be a head banger favorite for the vocal and guitar tones. Certainly more back towards Dew Scented territory it hits hard with little room for error. 

‘A Dying Fall’ tests new waters again for Disquiet by being a full on instrumental. A bit slower and melodic than what most might expect, the melodeath approach is certainly a strong direction to in with some dramatic support choirs mixed in and subdued drums. The atmosphere is thick and pounding and just serves as a nice break before the final bombast of ‘A Final Trumpet.’ This one again throws a curveball with guest vocals again, this time from Charlotte of Delain) who has a sweeter approach to her voice than Vicky did on track 5, but again, it works well for the overall melodeath approach of the music (like Dark Tranquility and ‘The Mundane and the Magic). Both vocalists play off very well together between harsh and clean and as a result it is the perfect closer for the album. While the track pretty much is devoid of any thrash elements, the death metal chug of the riffs are anthemic enough to crush any doubts that the group is going in a more commercial or sell out direction by jumping on tropes of more mainstream bands.

The sound is still overall very Disquiet for “Instigate To Annihilate” so older fans who have followed them ever since “Scars of Undying Grief” will not be disappointed or turned away thinking they have turned into a whole new band, for better or worse. True they enhance certain aspects with this album compared to previous efforts, but it shows solid progression, and cements a sound that they really make their own. “Instigate To Annihilate” is a huge step out of the underground into the light to show the world just how big (and loud) Disquiet can be.  

5 / 5 STARS

1. Rise Of The Sycophants
2. Demonic Firenado
3. Designed To Violate
4. Instigate To Annihilate
5. Wrecked
6. No Moral Dignity
7. Destroyance
8. Sicario
9. A Dying Fall
10. The Final Trumpet