ALBUM REVIEW: Disciples of Verity – Pragmatic Sanction

Music fans love a good supergroup. However, a lot of times the results may vary and the resultant music that felt like it would rule on paper doesn’t translate in the end. Well, that sure isn’t the case with Disciples of Verity. Not only does the band boast a who’s who of dynamic talents from across Rock and Metal (Living Colour, God Forbid, Negative Sky, Sekond Skyn), their debut release Pragmatic Sanction (The Label Group/InGrooves) has a ton of memorable songs; heavy enough for the real headbangers, but catchy enough for the masses.

Right out of the gate, the opening track ‘Lying To Myself’ is a real earpeeler with heavy grooves, and singer Corey Glover’s iconic voice soaring over the top. The first of several stellar guest appearances on the album comes from Phil Demmel (Vio-Lence, ex Machine Head). In addition to start-stop riffs and epic drums, Demmel chips in a beautiful, lyrical solo that matches the vocals perfectly.

‘The Flow’ is another rapid-fire chug-fest. All of these songs have the requisite heaviness and modern heft on the production, but neat guitar licks and aural subtleties abound in the mix. Like most of the songs here, Pulling from influences across everyone’s wheelhouse, ‘The Flow simmers to a slow boil, not unlike Killswitch Engage’s finer work. Morgan Rose (Sevendust) adds in a drum performance here and also has one of the finer refrains on the entire album. ‘Worthy’ is my favorite track here and may yet be yours too. The main riff is just plain nasty, and the key changes, and Glover’s voice and lyrics will just tug at your broken heart. Corey Pierce’s drumming brings it all together. This track also has Jeff Loomis (Arch Enemy, Nevermore) chipping in a solo over the absolute brutal middle16 bars. This section of the song might have you thinking you put on the new Decapitated or Behemoth, by accident, but no.

The later tracks also have no chill and are equally high quality.. ‘The Lost Ones, ‘Confiding In Shadows’, and the thrashy ‘Remember The Living’, and ‘I AM I’ are equal parts pummeling and tuneful. Heaving Glover’s voice against the backdrop of some of these heavy ass songs as well as the lift in the lighter moments is intoxicating. George Pond on bass, Mark Monjoy on guitar, and Danny Puma (now replaced in the lineup by Zack Miranowic) all slay their parts and bring something to the table. Another late album track ‘Unsteady’, an unexpected cover/reimagining of the old X-Ambassadors song will bring you to tears.

The cool thing about Pragmatic Sanction is the consistency. Most albums have a lot of top tier songs front-loaded, but this album is strong all the way through. Every member of the band steps to the plate track after track. What you get is an album that is unlike much of the heavy music released in 2020, and really above most of the bands in whatever genre tags you might want to stick on the band. The songs are only enhanced by the guests like JJ Sammataro, Joe Gareri, and Tara McLeod (Kittie), not bogged down by them, or only good because of them, which sometimes happens.

In this horrible dumpster fire year full of sorrow and strife, it’s great to have music that is both hard and uplifting at the same time. If this is the first dose of “truth” from Disciples of Verity, I can’t wait for future portions. Purchase the album here.

 

9 / 10

KEITH CHACHKES