Variety is key to Gross Misconduct's The Disconnect

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      The Disconnect (Independent)

      Extra melody and more complex song structures distinguish Gross Misconduct’s follow-up to its 2007 debut, The Process of Indoctrination. On the new nine-track outing, this Vancouver technical death metal band is no longer, so to speak, content to run around hitting everything that moves.

      Drummer John Kurucz still slams out the beats-per-minute with his customary frenetic precision. But variety has arrived, and variety is good. Mournful, clean arpeggios and cresting dual leads are interspersed between the pummelling accusations of “Illusory Dissent”, where vocalist-guitarist David London bellows like an Uruk-hai having his toenails pulled out. In the title track, a grim condemnation of social decay, the scalpel-sharp, hummable riffage evokes the intensity of “Holy Wars”–era Megadeth and the crunching triumphalism of Amon Amarth.

      The overall sound is satisfyingly meatier than on the first album, thanks to mixer Neil Kernon, who’s assisted metal maestros from Judas Priest to Nile. Forging a thrash name for yourself might be even tougher in 21st-century B.C. than in the 1980s Bay Area, but Gross Misconduct is on its best behaviour here, and deserves more than just opening for acts like Forbidden and the Haunted.