The Distortion Chamber, vol. 1 is the sixth full-length release from Tommy T., creative force behind Diverje and owner of the label DSBP. On this album, we hear Tommy's harsh vocals and poignant lyrics, backed by a plethora of styles, due to the collaboration with members of many different bands: E.S.R., Implant, The Mercy Cage, Boundless, Lexincrypt, Symbiont, Babel-17, iammynewt, TYPE001, and Auspex.
The key to this album is to open up the insert and read the lyrics. Tommy has some very interesting thoughts that should be read to be appreciated. You certainly can't complain about insightful lyrics, and on top of that, you get great music to back them.
The album starts off with "Enough to Destroy", a straightforward electro-industrial song, with lightly distorted vocals. "The Distortion Chamber", the second track, speaks to the pathetic "commercial" music industry and points out that there is good music, but you must search for it, in this case, in the Distortion Chamber.
"Test Samples" is an odd mix of samples (appropriate for the song title), techno-styled layers (thanks to Implant's influence), and Tommy once again bringing us an interesting message. I believe the main sample is from the stand-up comedian Andrew "Dice" Clay, known for his crude humor, seems quite in place with the message of the song.
"Individual" is another electro-oriented song and my favorite on the album. From the lips of Reverend Tommy, "I am an INDIVIDUAL" - you don't have to follow the crowd.
"I Walk Alone" is a good electro anthem, followed by "No Time for Compromise", which kicks in a good amount of heavy guitar. The song's meaning: do your own thing, not what you are told you must do. Tommy seems to be quite an individualist.
Now we take an aside into both humor and at the same time scary (in concept) songs. The 8th track's title, "Stupid People Shouldn't Breed" pretty much sums up the song. I can think of several people who should listen to this track. "Mirage" continues the humor in its portrayal of certain "entertainment", ("[insert country name here] Idol" perhaps?). I too wonder why people are so desperate to become the pawns of the mega-entertainment corporations. Haven't we all learned our lessons from the boy bands of yester-year?
"Time is the Enemy" slows the tempo down, with smooth synth lines. The message this time around is work is a necessary evil to get the money; money we need to enjoy the rest of our lives.
In "The Decline of the CD Generation", Tommy clearly states his opinion of music "sharing" through this simple tune. There are many excuses for stealing, but it is nonetheless stealing, and especially bad to do to the independent labels (like DSBP) that make up the core of our music genre.
"Overpopulation" gets back to some heavy guitar sounds, sprinkled with electronics, speaking of the overpopulation situation and why this may be. "Not in My Name", a fairly short track, though subtlely worded, speaks to the current U.S. "liberation" in succinct refrain.
"The Distortion Chamber, Vol. 1" certainly takes the listener through many thoughts and moods, helped along by various guest musicians. Tommy T. certainly has some definite thoughts about the music industry, personal freedom, and the world in general and is more than willing to share them with the listener.