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Stevie Boiser is an omnipresent figure in Denver metal. He fronts Vale of Pnath and recently stepped down from Enemy Reign to focus on Dissonance in Design, a progressive/death-metal quintet that features brothers Harrison and Zac Patuto on guitar and drums, respectively, as well as Vale of Pnath guitarist Vance Valenzuela and the newly added Nema Sobhani on bass. We spoke with Boiser recently about the band's new album, Sentient, which comes out November 5.
Westword: I've seen the cover art for Sentient. Are the members of Dissonance in Design fans of science fiction?
Stevie Boiser: I'm more into it than the others. I read H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King and Star Wars, but I really feel like those things come to life in the way I tell the story in Sentient. Originally, I just had scrap tracks of rough versions for the songs, but the music gave me a flashback to a dream I had a long time ago. I wanted to tell the story of what I was able to recollect from the dream and incorporate science fiction with the element of a moral or ethical dilemma.
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Is there an overall theme or concept for this album?
Sentient is indeed a concept album. The best synopsis I can think of is this: Scientists who are experimenting with string theory are successful in opening a window into another dimension, one where they find a very mysterious and breathtaking new world inhabited by celestial beings. Unable to resist our curiosity, we decide to abduct one of them. The window is recalibrated into a doorway, and after abducting and killing a specimen, the creatures gather at the gateway and are able to break into our world.
As their world begins quickly spilling into ours, we find that their form of sustenance is devouring the souls of their prey, leaving behind a hollow vessel. You come to find that the alien race are not the monsters that the humans believe them to be. In fact, they are creatures who in their dimension are revered as gods, who feed off of the souls of wicked beings in order to purify them and send them back into the universe so that they may be reborn into new hosts who will allow them to transcend into the next form of consciousness.
In which ways do you think Sentient represents an advance in Dissonance in Design's sound?
I think that Sentient is the next step in the evolution of Dissonance in Design. We're experimenting with longer and more complicated song structures, phrasings and vocal melodies while keeping things very dynamic. I feel as though every time I hear it, I embark upon a new mental journey, and I sincerely hope that all who listen to it can really experience the same mystical feeling. We're all very proud of what we were able to create together and are really excited to unleash it upon the world. We hope that our listeners are able to share that same excitement.