With a band name like Dirge Within, I naturally go into the experience with certain expectations. Band names tend to do that, think about some of the classic metal acts out there like Metallica and Slayer. When you hear those names, even without knowing what they sound like you have a mental image of what to expect, right?
I know the image conjured up in my mind comes pretty close to the truth. Now, when I hear the name Dirge Within I expect something doom metal tinged, maybe a little sludge metal. Either way I am looking to hear something dark and heavy, perhaps even something like Dark Tranquility. This has turned out not to be the case. Am I disappointed? Perhaps a little, fortunately solid music makes up for it.
Dirge Within is a metal band with some slight hard rock tendencies that could very easily be lumped into the metalcore genre, although I think that would oversimplify it and not accurately reflect reality. However, I am not sure what genre I would put them in. I think I would call them a heavier, yet still accessible, version of Disturbed.
Force Fed Lies is an album packed with well written songs, good instrumentation, spotless production, and an overall attractiveness that makes it very easy to get into. Issues arise as the more you listen, the more it seems to be calculated to play towards the middle. It doesn't take any chances, none of the songs push boundaries or target the fringe. The music is all very safe. This is not to say it is not good, worthwhile, or anything of the sort, I just don't think it will be remembered as anything more than a footnotea few years down the road.
The band is the latest project by guitarist Shaun Glass, who was a founding member of metal act SOiL and had previously been a part of death metal act Broken Hope. He parted ways with SOiL back in 2007 over personal differences. This was also he same time he turned his attentions to Dirge Within, which was then just Dirge. I am amused at how he described the project then compared with what they actually sound like. He was quoted as saying the direction was "total f*cking extreme metal in a very modern thrash style." Read that and then check out Force Fed Lies. Not quite the same thing are they?