Separatist – “Closure”


Separist-ClosureThere’s an almost sad, sick irony in a technical death metal band losing everything during recording due to a hard drive failure of not only the primary but also the backup drive and then all the members walking away from the band as it was.  Welcome to the story behind Closure, the second album by Separatist.

Back in 2011, the 5-piece version of Separatist was in the studio recording Closure as their second album when the aforementioned technical issues struck and seemingly everything was lost and band members went their separate ways.  Closure was meant to be a sequel to the first album, which is the story of the apocalypse as described in Revelation.  On Closure, the story involves those who have been left behind after the rapture and describes their struggles to survive and ultimately how one reaches out to the God head previously renounced.

Separatist as a band hails from Hobart, Australia.  Formed in 2004, they went through many lineup changes as bands tend to do.  Members at one time included, Sam “Disho” Dishington on vocals, Matt Carter on drums, Luke Ransom on bass, and James Brady and David Gilbert on guitars.  As a full band they supported bands the likes of Skinless and Malevolent Creation and played a number of festivals across Australia and even made an appearance in Australia’s Metal Hammer magazine.  The group’s debut album, The Motionless Apocalypse, was released in 2008 and as related earlier, recording Closure led to their demise as a band and the emergence of Separatist as a solo project of vocalist Disho, who has also rerecorded the debut album and released it as Motionless.

Closure is heavy, brutal, technical controlled chaos, plain and simple.  “Monuments” opens up with some frantic, fearful sounding heavy breathing and then the music literally explodes.  Technical fast riffs, blast beats, starts and stops, unintelligible deep growled vocals, are all here in abundance.  At over seven minutes of brutality, there can be a lot of different elements going on to keep the song from becoming boring or predictable and that is what is at play here.  The song has some sections with a definite drive to them, a pummeling sort of drive and yet around the four minute mark, there is a break from the brutality with some brighter sounding chords and an almost calm groove that leads into some clean vocals, which certainly were unexpected.

“Isolation” continues in the same vein as “Monuments” and actually is the song for a lyric video as well, which certainly describes the post-rapture world in vivid detail.  The music has that overwhelming dark feel to it that ties in very well with the subject matter and also has chaotic, fast elements that correspond well to the chaos of this world.

The punishment simply never lets up in this album. “Ω” is as brutal as the other songs on the album but does add in some groove and breakdown like elements as well as throwing in some higher, shrieking vocals. All the way through the first half of “Closure” the sounds are dark, foreboding, and brutal, but fittingly around the four minute mark in “Closure”, the chaos falls silent with a lone guitar chiming along, to be joined by the rest of the band, but with a brighter tone and feel, almost like the happy ending you were hoping for up to this point.

My main difficulty with this album is that is simply, unrelentingly brutal to the point where I couldn’t really tell one song from another.  There is a lot of musical chaos here and all of it very heavy, making it a challenge to really get a feel for the songs.  In some sense, it may be overly technical for my liking.  I found it very difficult to listen to Closure the entire way through and keep track of where I was on the album.  Typically, I listen to albums I review while driving to work and over the course of a few days, I can usually anticipate what song is next, but not so with this album.  I almost feel like this album requires one’s full attention to appreciate everything that is going on.  From an overall perspective, the subject matter is dark and the music is fittingly dark until the point where the story concludes on a “happier” note as the hero finds the God he once knew.

“In the jarring silence of this monumental failure
My lips utter a soundless atonement to the God I once knew

As my skin withers and bones return to dust
Grace finds me here, as my final breath departs
I’m ready to come home”

One additional thing that needs to be mentioned is that the money made from the Bandcamp downloads are donated to the A21 Campaign to Support the war against human trafficking and sex slavery.

Rating: 7/10

Written by John Jackson

1. Monuments 07:48
2. Isolation 03:45
3. Ω 04:02
4. Deluge Arterial 06:23
5. Carrier 09:09
6. Immersion 04:00
7. Void 04:18
8. Altars 04:00
9. Closure 07:33

Band Members:
Sam “Disho” Dishington – Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Programming

Additional guitar by Mitch Osborne.
Guest vocals on ‘Isolation’ by Jarrod Sorbian.
Guest vocals on ‘Deluge Arterial’ by Jayme Sexton

Record Label: Independent, Feb. 2014

Weblinks: Facebook Bandcamp

Buy the album here:
First Paradox
Norway: Nordic Mission
Metal Helm

Lyric Video below ‘Isolation’

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