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All Music Guide:
Because they rarely play live, avoid photographs and other forms of image mongering, and layer their releases with cryptic references, the grindcore band Discordance Axis remains a bit of an enigma. What is known is that they formed in New Jersey in 1991 and feature a lineup of vocalist Jon Chang, guitarist Rob Marton, and drummer Dave Witte, the latter having played with a number of other bands including Atomsmasher, Human Remains, Black Army Jacket, and Burnt by the Sun. Discordance Axis released their first full-length LP, Ulterior, in 1995 on the Devour label, followed by Jouhou in 1997. Throughout their career, the band has also put out a number of hard-to-find 7"s, including split releases with Melt-Banana, Def Master, Plutocracy, and Capitalist Casualties. The 1998 CD Original Sound Version 1992-1995 compiles all of the official releases from their early years along with several unreleased tracks, while 1998's Jouhou 2.0 CD gathers their post-1995 non-LP tracks with the contents of the original Jouhou release.
Their third CD/LP, the inventively packaged The Inalienable Dreamless, came out on Hydrahead Records and received a strongly favorable response among grindcore/noise followers. Infamous Japanese noise artist Merzbow put together a 17-minute remix of the album, which the band made available as a free MP3 download on their website, www.studio-grey.com/da/.
Discordance Axis was a grindcore band from East Brunswick, New Jersey.
Frontman Jon Chang on the history of the band:
"Discordance Axis was a three piece grind core band that started in NJ around 1992. The band started after myself and Rob's previous band disintegrated and we found Da5e at a Human Remains show. We asked him to play a split 7" with us and it snowballed from there.
The pattern was, we got together and wrote and recorded some material, then would part ways. We never really played live much because...well we couldn't manage to sell more than 500 copies of any of our records and we all had conflicting schedules.
We get asked why we only toured Japan. That's easy. That's where all our records sold. And most of the bands we liked were from over there.
Steve Procopio played live a lot with us and recorded the guitar tracks on the Necropolitan ep. Rob Marton plays guitar on every other recording we produced. Steve and Rob were two really gifted people and I feel fortunate to have played with both them and Da5e.
There's a much more detailed band history in the Original Sound Version and Jouhou resissue CDs that Hydrahead released, but in brief, Discordance Axis started in 1992 and broke up in 2001. All of our music has been re-issued on CD except for our tracks on the Necropolitan EP(because the master is lost) and our track from the Snarl Out Vol 2 7" comp record.
Jon Chang now sings for Gridlink. Rob Marton writes lots of music but isn't in a band. Dave Witte plays for Municipal Waste (among others)."
In the beginning the band played straightforward grindcore influenced by the likes of Napalm Death, but on later releases they showcased a very original style. Robert Marton played guitar lines that were both technical and dissonant, and added creative overdubs to augment the melodies. Dave Witte added complex rolls, fills, and jaring rhythmic shifts to the usual barrage of blast beats found in grindcore. Jon Chang alternated between a shrill shriek and a gastrointestional roar, and based most of his metaphorical lyrics on novels and anime. The band had no bassist and released the majority of their full-length recordings in DVD cases rather than CD cases coming with unusually large booklets (normally with liner notes for each song longer than the lyrics).