Killing Joke – Absolute Dissent

Absolute Dissent is Killing Joke’s first studio album in 4 years and the wait was well worth it. Now back to their original lineup, the record finds the UK post-punk stalwarts firing on all cylinders, with some of their most focused songwriting in years. The album gets off to an energized start with the pulsating title track and menacing second cut, “The Great Cull.” Lead vocalist Jaz Coleman delivers each line with disdain and the only thing angrier than his voice on the album is the sound of Kevin “Geordie” Walker’s guitars. Coleman is one of the most underrated frontmen in the heavy music scene and his work this time out doesn’t fail on that statement. Even on the more industrial leaning “European Super State,” the Brit rises to the occasion, proving that his versatility in the vocal booth gets even better with age.

Produced by the band, Absolute Dissent sounds dirtier than their ‘80s output, but it never sacrifices any of their anthemic hooks. Songs like “In Excelsis” and “Depthcharge” will undoubtedly be showstoppers on Killing Joke’s upcoming U.S. tour, with their skyscraper guitar riffs and catchy vocal lines. “The Raven King,” the band’s tribute to their former bassist Paul Raven, is also a highlight and does justice the deceased musician. Armed with a new label deal throughout the world, it looks like Absolute Dissent will get in the hands of longtime Killing Joke fans, but the album’s obvious artistic triumphs should find the group a new legion of listeners.

Rating: 8/10
Label: Spinefarm Records

By Christian A.

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