Jack of all trades, master of most.
A band that successfully infuses multiple genres to create something unique is admirable; even if the effort fails, it’s intriguing to see how musical ideas from multiple soundscapes interact and mix with each other. In the case of Dionaea, the result is a fascinatingly varied and mature cacophony of the best its myriad influences have to offer. The band is self-described on Bandcamp as a “post-grind band from pennjersey,” but it would be more accurate to label them as a post-rock band with grind interludes and mathy influence. Categorization aside, Dionaea has produced with their three-song EP “Still” a sweet journey through many radically different climes, without so much as skipping a beat or making an awkward transition.
The centerpiece of Still is the lengthy track “Same Story”, which clocks in at almost fifteen minutes. Although such a song length is unorthodox for most modern bands, Dionaea manages to keep things interesting with the sheer force of their songwriting. An extended post-rock bridge goes hand in hand with a jazz-influenced jam and very heavy grind segments, and while these shifts are artfully done with tempo changes and flavored melodies, they are daring and jarring enough to require a fair amount of forethought. Vocally the band is also a surprise, featuring very sparse but emotionally soaked harsh vocals. The band doesn’t exhaust its musical potential here, however, because the next two songs, “Carrier” and “Meraquo”, have their fair share of ideas to make them stand out next to the juggernaut that is “Same Story.” Although the violin is not a stranger to post-rock, throwing it into the main focus of the latter track makes it stand out more in the context of the entire album. The same could be said for the delay-soaked guitar tapping in the former track, which also conveniently ends in the same manner as how “Same Story” begun, tying the album together in a striking manner. It’s this attention to small details that anchors Dionaea’s appeal, because it shows an understanding of effective structuring.
“Still” is the war cry of a young but extremely talented group, showing powerful command over a series of very different influences, as well an admirable prowess for uniting said influences into a single sensical entity. If this half-hour-long EP characterizes Dionaea in any way, then beautiful things are sure to come from them in the future.