Divide & Dissolve


Invada • 2023

The first few minutes of »Systemic« do not give you any clues about what to expect musically and in terms of content. It kicks off with overwhelmingly loud, looped orchestral samples, but after only two minutes it becomes much quieter—a saxophone and theremin-like sounds dance around each other at the beginning of the second track. Then a heavily distorted electric guitar starts blaring, the drums play a clattering fill-in: check your watch, it’s doom o’clock! Doom metal is at least the most sensible categorisation for the predominantly instrumental music of saxophonist and guitarist Takiaya Reed and drummer Sylvie Nehill, although it rarely leaves it at violent riffs and thundering drums. Divide & Dissolve are kindred spirits of bands such as BIG|BRAVE, who always take purely overwhelming music as a slate for further experimentation, or Feminazgul, whose atmospherically enriched metal is decidedly political. And so, decidedly un-metal instruments can be heard again and again on their fourth album, and on »Kingdom of Fear« even a voice. Minori Sanchiz-Fung has already contributed to previous albums and puts into poetic words what the otherwise wordless »Systemic« is all about: colonial violence towards and the disenfranchisement and exclusion of mainly indigenous people. Divide & Dissolve do not address this directly in their music, but express it sonically, which makes it all the more impressive.