Album Review – Killing Joke “Absolute Dissent” 2010

  If you like rock, new wave, heavy metal, prog, avant-garde, punk, goth, dub,  garage rock, industrial or grunge; if you like sounds made by guitars, drums and voices raised in righteous anger; if you like music, Killing Joke says you’re fucking welcome.  Long the unsung heroes of just about every underground music scene ever invented, the members of Killing Joke have weathered storms personal and political, made successes of themselves with countless other musical projects and basically lived several full artistic lifespans outside of KJ itself.

Despite the pull of the larger world, the band has always managed to periodically reconvene to release records on their own terms, with results often divisive and controversial but never insincere. So here they are again, having endured the most difficult period of their career following the death of bassist Paul Raven, and they have delivered an authoritative and surprisingly uplifting statement of intent to carry on.  Absolute Dissent is the heavy rock bombast of their 2003 Dave Grohl fortified self-titled record crossed with the commanding presence of Extremities, Dirt and Various Repressed Emotions. It has Hosannas from the Basement of Hell ‘s feverish trance states without the associated gloom, and even reaches back 30 years to the sharp, angular guitar textures of their debut. It pulls off the trick of sounding simultaneously like a career retrospective and a fire-breathing call to arms.

I sincerely hope that  Absolute Dissent is the vehicle for Killing Joke’s triumphant return to the spotlight and the recognition they truly deserve. It will be a delight to fans both hardcore and casual, and any new ones this record creates are well-earned. The deluxe edition of the CD has a bonus disc (nicknamed Absolute Respect) containing covers by Metallica, the Foo Fighters, Helmet and many others. It’s nice to have, but believe me, the original product is strong enough poison. 9 out of 10

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One Response to “Album Review – Killing Joke “Absolute Dissent” 2010”

  1. […] While Killing Joke’s last effort Absolute Dissent mixed their latter-day grunge trance sensibilities with the spirit of their 1990 masterwork […]

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